In Memory of Representative Max Gruenberg, Jr.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We’ve had a tough week here in Juneau with the sudden loss of a member of our legislative family. On Sunday, February 14th, we lost a dear friend, Representative Max F. Gruenberg, Jr., House Minority Whip and the longest serving legislator in the Alaska House of Representatives. Max was a sweet man. He and I sat next to each other my first two years in the Legislature. He always went out of his way to see if I had any questions or if I needed help with anything. I learned so much from him during that time. It was a gift!
Max was born and raised in San Francisco. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War where his unit received the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and he received the Vietnam Service Medal with three battle stars. Max attended and graduated from Stanford University and received a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School in 1970. He then moved to Alaska where he became a partner in the Gruenberg, Clover & Holland law firm and served on numerous volunteer organizations before being elected to the Alaska Legislature. Max served in the legislature from 1985-1993. During that time he served two terms as House Majority Leader, and again from 2003 until his recent death.
His many legislative accomplishments include passing the Silver Alert law to locate missing adults, securing funding to rebuild neighborhood fire stations, strengthening arson laws, and working to protect vulnerable people and animals from domestic abuse.
Max’s greatest strength as a legislator was his impeccable legal mind and his commitment to making sure every piece of legislation that came before him was thoroughly reviewed and drafted to be free of unintended consequences. He was a constant reminder that the decisions made by the legislature can have powerful impacts on everyday people, often affecting their homes, livelihood, or even their very freedom. He would work late into the night making sure any bill, regardless of the sponsor, was good policy and fair to Alaskans.
We will miss you.