Ron May, a Chicago tech-community institution, recently passed away. He was 57. Here’s the Chicago Tribune’s obit.
He was a reporter, a curmudgeon, a sweet guy, a total pain in the ass. He’d been writing his May Report email newsletter since the late 90s. He rarely missed a tech event, conference, gathering, meetup. That’s commitment.
He’d usually sit in the front row of a talk/event and just interrupt the speaker and ask questions — loudly. He wanted answers and really didn’t give a damn about decorum. No one quite followed up on a non-answer like Ron did.
He loved to get the scoop. He’d record everything with his handheld mini recorder. He’d basically shove it in your face.
A lot of people in the Chicago tech scene would talk shit about him. He was annoying, he was irritating, he’d print things that were supposed to be off-the-record, he’d rarely fact check and often get things completely wrong. Ethics wasn’t his thing. The story was.
But I really liked him. He was an original, a character, a true one-of-a-kind. He’s covered me… awkwardly... over the years — even calling me a socialist (which is hilarious) — but that was always fine by me. It was so refreshing to see someone truly interested in the scene and subjects he was covering. The May Report wasn’t just a job to him. He was really into it. He wanted to be doing this and he did it like no one else could.
This guy was curious. To me, curiosity is his legacy. And what a great legacy for anyone to have.
Ron will be missed. He even scooped his own death in his heartfelt and honest final May Report, published on June 24th. How’s that for doing what you love right up to the end? We should all be so lucky.