Tyrone May

Tyrone May
World Trade Center

The Music, and Party, Man

Tyrone May's music collection was vast: hundreds and hundreds of records and CD's, running the gamut from reggae and disco to rhythm and blues. And his apartment in Rahway, N.J., was littered with the announcements for record fairs he received in the mail each month. Naturally, people leapt to conclusions.

"Everybody comes into the apartment and says, 'Who's the D.J.?' " said Mr. May's wife, Marva May. The truth is that on any given day, Mr. May, 44, an auditor with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, was more likely to be crunching numbers than spinning records. But he had an expert ear and, more important, the party-planning skills of a born impresario.

Nearly every December, Mr. May would rent a club somewhere in the city and throw a huge dance party for a few hundred friends and family members. By early September, he had a date (Dec. 15) and location (a club in Brooklyn). On Sept. 11, before he left home for 2 World Trade Center, Mr. May told his wife to keep an eye out for a fax from the agency that was designing the tickets for the event.

"I still have the fax," said Mrs. May, who is saving many of her husband's possessions for their son, Tyrone Jr., 2. "Everything is the same way since he left."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 15, 2001.

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