Max B. Osceola Jr., 70, who served for more than two decades as a tribal council representative on the Seminole Tribal Council from the Hollywood Seminole Reservation, passed away earlier this month from complications due to COVID-19.  

Osceola held the elected position of tribal council representative from the Hollywood Seminole Reservation from 1985 through 2010, according to a press release.  He was elected to 13 consecutive two-year terms during this period.  He served on the Seminole Tribal Council, the five-member elected governing body of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, during a time of major expansion of Seminole Gaming, which has grown to become one of the world’s most successful gaming operations.

Osceola often acted as an ambassador of the Seminole Tribe to the South Florida community and beyond.  He was active in the region’s tourism industry and in many community organizations that positively impacted members of the Seminole Tribe and the larger population in South Florida, including the Boys and Girls Clubs, Ann Storck Center and Winterfest.  He supported the Victory Junction Camp, a North Carolina nonprofit camp for children with serious medical conditions.  He was also an active motorcyclist and participated in the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.

He was perhaps best known for his smile, infectious laugh and constant barrage of quips and one-liners, often referring to “BC” as the time “before casinos” at the Seminole Tribe.  At the 2006 New York press conference announcing the Seminole Tribe’s purchase of Hard Rock International, he uttered the renowned quote, “Our ancestors sold Manhattan for trinkets.  Today, with the acquisition of the Hard Rock Cafes, we’re going to buy it back one hamburger at a time.” 

Osceola was most proud of his impact on the education of members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which extended full educational opportunities and benefits to all tribal members during his time as tribal council representative. Osceola was inducted into the Broward Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2017.

The family suggests donations to honor Max Osceola through the Max Osceola Memorial Scholarship Fund at the American Indian Graduate Center, the center for native scholarships, at www.aigcs.org.