American merchant and banker; born in Worms Sept. 23, 1823; died at Dobbs Ferry, N. Y., July 22, 1897. He went to the United States in 1840, and in 1845 established an independent business in Shreveport, La. In 1850 he effected an important copartnership for the purpose of carrying on trade in San Francisco, Cal., Portland, Ore., and, later, in New York. He took up his residence in the last-named city in 1856. In 1869 he retired from mercantile life and established the banking firm of May & King. He turned his business talents toward other enterprises also, serving for many years as trustee, treasurer, or director of various New York corporations.
May was treasurer and director of Mt. Sinai Hospital for nineteen years, was one of the organizers and the first president of the Young Men's Hebrew Association, and was trustee and president of Temple Emanu-El for thirty-three years. In recognition of his services the congregation of Temple Emanu-El, in 1888, presented him with a valuable testimonial, and after his death dedicated a memorial window in the Temple to him.
- National Cyclopœdia of American Biog.;
- The Metropolis, part i.;
- The American Hebrew, July and Nov., 1897;
- Myer Stern, The History of Temple Emanu-El.