Infomercial Icon Mays Dead at 50

TV Pitchman wasn't wearing a seatbelt: FAA

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 28, 2009 2:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Television pitchman Billy Mays was found dead in his Tampa, Fla., home today, the St. Petersburg Times reports. He was 50. The promoter of everything from baking soda to cleaning supplies said he felt unwell last night after landing in a 737 airplane that blew out a front tire. Mays told a reporter "things from the ceiling started dropping" and hitting him on the head. The FAA initially deflected blame, saying he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, TMZ reports.

"The passenger needs to wear a seat belt during landing and he didn't," an FAA spokesperson said. He later took back the remark, saying, "At this point in time, we cannot have any idea who was or wasn't wearing their seat belt on the plane." Mays leaves behind a wife, 3-year-old daughter, and a stepson. An autopsy is slated for tomorrow.

In this Dec. 6, 2002 file photo,TV pitchman Billy Mays poses with some of his cleaning products at his Palm Harbor, Fla., home.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
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This is a 2-minute spot made for Orange Glo International's Wood Cleaner and Polish, featuring the late Billy Mays.   (kdmpro)

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The passenger needs to wear a seat belt during landing and he didn't.
- FAA rep, in comments to TMZ

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