George S. May
George S. May was born on a farm in Windsor, Ill., on June 5, 1890. Tilling the soil, however, held no attraction for the man who would become a management consulting pioneer. After graduating from college, George S. May began his sales career selling bibles. Shortly thereafter, a friend, familiar with May's interest in mechanical and technical issues, offered him a job with a farm equipment manufacturer.
During the next decade, George S. May had to cope with the fluctuating economy of the early 1900s. He worked as a freelance consultant on a variety of short-term jobs, and was later hired for full-time work, but was laid off when economic conditions slowed.
By 1924, with a wife and family to care for, George S. May sent out letters to Chicago businesses, highlighting his knowledge and experience as a business problem solver. He obtained a consulting assignment with Chicago Flexible Shaft Company, the precursor of the Sunbeam Corporation, and with that first job, on February 1, 1925, the George S. May Company was born.
In addition to growing his own company, George S. May also contributed greatly to the game of golf. Now listed as one of Golf magazine's 100 heroes of American golf, George S. May staged a number of professional golf tournaments at his country club, Tam O' Shanter, throughout the 1940s and 50s. May is still lauded as one of golf's most preeminent promoters.
George S. May died on March 12, 1962, at the age of 71. In an interview in the 1940s, George S. May noted: "I don't believe too much in looking back. If you've done well, you're too inclined to become smug. If you've done poorly, you're inclined to become discouraged. Keep looking ahead - yesterday's done with - think about today and tomorrow."