Max B. Osceola Jr., 70, recently passed away in Weston, Florida due to complications from Covid-19. Osceola, 70, served on the Seminole Tribe of Florida tribal council as the representative from the Hollywood Seminole Reservation from 1985 through 2010. He had been hospitalized for several weeks, and frequently urged people to take the virus very seriously.
Osceola was elected and re-elected to 13 consecutive 2-year terms as tribal council representative. He served on the Seminole Tribal Council, the 5-member elected governing body of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, as Seminole gaming underwent a major expansion.
Osceola frequently 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 community organizations, 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 also was an active motorcyclist and participated in the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.
Osceola was known for his sense of humor. He often referred 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 said, “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 born in August 1950 in Hollywood, Florida and grew up on the Hollywood Seminole Reservation. He graduated from McArthur High School in Hollywood and attended the University of Tampa, where he played college football. He transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma, where Osceola and his team won a national college football championship. He ultimately attended and graduated from the University of Miami and was a fervent supporter of Miami Hurricanes football.
Osceola was most proud of his contribution to helping to educate Seminole Tribe members, who received educational opportunities and benefits during his time as tribal council representative. Osceola was inducted into the Broward Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2017.
Osceola is survived by his son Max Osceola III, daughter Melissa Osceola DeMayo, daughter Meaghan Osceola, son Jeff Pelage, as well as several sisters and brothers, grandchildren and extended family.