In Memorium: Entrepreneurs Who Died in 2009

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Billy Mays, Infomercial Pitchman

The pitchman behind household cleaners such as Kaboom and OxiClean, Mays was known as much for his distinctive voice and fast-paced exuberance as for having one of the best weapons in any businessman’s arsenal: a strong conviction in his products. He once told the Associated Press that he gave away OxiClean to every one of the 300 guests at his wedding and burst into his TV pitch during the festivities. Mays first honed his craft on the boardwalks of Atlantic City and his first chance at a TV pitch in the mid-90s shilling Orange Glo on the Home Shopping Network.