Ron Did not want to be out scooped on anything, even his own death. He scooped his own death with some help from a few friends.
The May Report June 24th, 2013
Let me start this, my final report, by saying, Jerry, you were right. You outlived me. Without boring anyone with the lengthy details of my long failing health (just check out the last ten years of archives for the complete history of my journey to this moment), let me bring you up to speed. I checked into St. Joseph's Hospital on Friday June 14th near midnight because of an infection in my right foot. It stunk so badly that my presence could be smelled a block before I arrived. After several days of dealing with doctors and being pumped with antibiotics, the "healers" determined that it was limb threatening and the foot or leg may have to go.
I was wheeled into the operating theatre on Wednesday, June 19th early morning. While in recovery, at 9:01 a.m. I stopped breathing and my biology was calling the shots. Despite much prayer and hope it was Game Over.
So if you have sent me any emails recently, don't expect a response.
I had become less than motivated about the report over the past couple of years, which may have had as much to do with in increasing inability to get around easily as my general waning interest in Chicago's tech community and this new generation of players. I had seen much of this before, during our first run up. Only now, many of the old retreads were still around making more noise than impact, and the most interesting entrepreneurs we're leaving for anyplace but Chicago as soon as they showed a glimmer of promise. Was I motivated to investigate and castigate yet another generation, in turn alienating myself? Not really, once the Flips of the world had left the building, the party just wasn't as much fun.
There are no doubts that many of you are a breathing a sigh of relief that they'll never be the subject of another snarky headline or personally intrusive investigation. You know who you are; I don't have to remind anyone of my favorite subjects. And then there's my personal cast of Grabowskis, the folks who have been my "friends," writers, confidantes, sounding boards, informants and midnight gabbing buddies. You can all turn your phones off vibrate; there won't be any more 2 AM calls. We had a good run and I leave this life with no real regrets, at least none that I can print. And to all those who are in the midst of suing me or were planning on doing so in the future, if you couldn't get money from a rock, try getting it from a pile of ashes!
I understand that my old Peanut Gallery is planning on throwing a party for me. They'll use my mailing list and this report to provide anyone who cares with the details, it will be in July. Go ahead, get really, really drunk, act inappropriately and know that this time I won't be there with a microphone to capture you in your moment of excess and write it up in the most embarrassing manner the next day. Have a good time; you'll have one more card in your pocket at the end of the night. And until we meet again Jerry, Dave, Jeff (both of you), Steve, Terry, Gary, Nik, Bob, Fred, Brian, Chris, Flip, Phil, Paul, and the rest of you, your secrets are safe with me, I have carried them to the grave.
Thank you everyone for contributing to make the Themayreport the essence of my life.
BTW, My Mom is doing well after her heart surgery, may she live a long healthy life.
I love you Mom for all you're support and love over the years, no matter how difficult I was.
To all my family, friends, faithful readers, supporters, detractors, gadflies, cronies and anyone else I hit my cane, I am signing off one last time.
Till we all meet again. I have to go now. This really is my final report.
Ronald Peter May left this world on June 23rd 2013 at 11:47 p.m.
Thoughts about Ron May by Paul May
My brother, Ron May, passed this past Sunday, June 23 2013. I truly had a special relationship with him as a brother, friend, business associate, and confidante. My family, David and Susan May, Jeannie and Pablo Cortez and my Mom along with extended family, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, friends will truly miss him. We all express deep gratitude and thanks for all the people who have reached out and given us different musings, thoughts, anecdotes of what Ron meant to them. If you didn’t hear from Ron at either wee hours of the morning or late night, you missed some great conversations.
We spent countless hours discussing everything: politics, http://www.themayreport.com stories, technology, recruiting and family. Many of our discussions were heated and passionate, some say LOUD.
My wife always knew I was on the phone with him, as she could hear his voice through the phone, no need to ask. We analyzed each other opinions and you’d have to defend your position with a barrage of questions. I guess that’s where I get it from.
As I try to get my head around the enormity of my loss of my brother, I know when all settles that a colossal void will be left. He was a bigger than life person, in my life, on the table, raw and vulnerable. He did so much for many, allowing others to view into how business, financial decisions are made (sometimes real time), as well as his personal life and habits. To really know Ron was to love Ron. Either you get him or you don’t. He’d want to debate most anything.
I hope Ron can now put the cane away and go to events enjoying his passion. He had a voice that is irreplaceable and irascible. He lived for the scoop, the ability to stir the pot in hopes of boiling over. He dove into the Venture Capital world and worked diligently to unlock the secrets so others could learn.
He has been called the father of blogging. He looked to protect the Underdog . He spoke for people that didn’t know how to speak for themselves.
He was not afraid to ask anyone any question. He looked for the truth. He questioned ethics. He would not give away his sources no matter what and would fight for what he felt was right.
He held people to standards and let the community be the judge. He had a heck of an appetite as well. I think that’s why he went to the events in the first place, the free food.
I’ve honestly not met someone as well versed with multiple subjects matter than he was. He was a walking Google. He recruited and wrote about technology for most of his life but he couldn’t set his phone clock.
Ron, you’ll be missed by many; you were a disrupter, you made me question and think. Dad would have loved your story. May the two of you commiserate, over the kitchen table, pontificating your next endeavors.
We’re going to have a Celebration of Life for Ron. Trying to arrange a date and I’ll get that information out there. Feel free to stop by and share Ron May stories.
We had a private service for Ron. Any donations, please give to the American Diabetes fund.
RIP Ronald Peter May. You'll truly be missed.
Ron May, longtime Chicago tech gadfly, dead at 57
By Wailin Wong Tribune reporter 2:46 p.m. CDT, June 24, 2013
Ron May, a longtime chronicler of Chicago’s technology and startup community, died Sunday night at the age of 57.
May’s brother, Paul May, said he died from complications due to diabetes. May preceded the current renaissance in the Chicago startup scene, having become a well-known figure during the first dot-com boom. In the late 1990’s, he launched an email newsletter called The May Report that was stuffed with his commentary on Chicago tech news; emails from readers and sources reprinted wholesale, sometimes without their permission; rants against companies or people with whom he took issue; and musings on his personal life, including details on his deteriorating health in recent years.
May, who seemed to endear himself to as many startup founders and community members as he alienated, was impossible to miss at networking events around town. His penchant for loudly interrupting speakers, for example, got him banned from some events, although he was welcomed at others. Earlier in June, when former Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center Chief Executive Kevin Willer spoke at the City Club of Chicago, he introduced May to his mother, who was in the audience.
Frank Gruber, co-founder of Chicago-based Tech Cocktail, a media company created in 2006 that organizes events for entrepreneurs, said on Twitter on Monday that May only missed one Tech Cocktail ever.
May’s stature during the first tech boom earned him a 2000 profile by David Barboza of the New York Times that said “the cantankerous Mr. May is running, virtually by himself, one of the most influential high-tech publications in the Midwest.”
May attended the University of Chicago, though he didn’t graduate, and worked as a recruiter. He also wrote a column for The Chicago Computer Guide. After being hospitalized for a diabetic condition, he restarted his writing career, this time as an independent journalist when The Chicago Computer Guide declined to publish his new column, according to the New York Times profile.
One of May’s most well-known traits was asking - sometimes quite forcefully - attendees of tech events for their business cards, which he would collect in a plastic grocery bag and later type up for his newsletters, publishing everyone’s phone numbers and email addresses. He would also carry around a tape recorder. May’s quirks were simultaneously celebrated and skewered by Chicago-based Web developer Tim Saylor, who created a site called http://ronmayfacts.com modeled after the hyperbolic parody site Chuck Norris Facts.
“Ron May is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, sandwiched between two business cards,” one of the facts read, accompanied by a drawing of May in profile, Alfred Hitchcock-style, holding a tape recorder.
While other online sources of startup news, including Silicon Valley outlet TechCrunch and its ilk, rose to prominence in recent years, May persisted with his work. And the format of his email newsletter remained largely unchanged, despite efforts to spruce up his website and experiments with Twitter.
May’s last report was sent out on June 12. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Frederick May, and is survived by his mother, Harriet; his sister, Lisa Jean Cortez; his two brothers, Paul and David, and their families; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Here are some of the Ron May Tributes and Remembrance links:
Who is Ron May, and what was his impact on Chicago's tech community?
I was thinking about my kindergarten years, which will inevitably bring to mind memories of Ronnie May! For some reason I then "Googled" his name and was amazed by what I found. The pictures that appeared were unmistakably "my" Ronnie May. I had absolutely no idea he had become the icon he became. His death deeply saddens me. How fun it would have been to follow the May Report while he was alive. How fun it would have been to recall our adventures in the kindergarten class at West Boulevard!
I tried to explain Ronnie to my husband.. but my kindergarten buddy is beyond description... as confirmed by the articles I've discovered about his "life and times".
Oh how I would love to hear more about him!! :-) Somehow I sincerely miss the Ronnie May I was never able to know. Your family is in my prayers, as the difficult days without him continue.
Mon, Jul 22, 2013
We had such great times in college and when we lived down the hall from each other on Briar. I wish that we hadn't let so much time pass without calling each other.
So long, buddy.
Thu, Jun 27, 2013
Ron, You will be missed by the many that have known you over the years and probably not by the ones who you managed to expose for their shady dealings. I for one salute you. Chicago will not be the same without your presence. Till we meet again.
Thu, Jun 27, 2013
Ron, the conversations we had on those many hour-long car trips to Paul's home were always entertaining! I know you'll somehow be reading this blog post! RIP
Thu, Jun 27, 2013
RIP Ronald Peter May. You meant a lot to many.
Love ya Brother Ron.