1974 – “That day at the car was the beginning of the final twelve months I shared with my father, the first of the final lessons I learned from him along the way. It was the beginning of me learning, and fully understanding, the truth of my father, our lives, and myself.
The man who loved me most of all could not be honest with me about the mother he had taken me from, or about what was happening to him.
Our next summer together would be the last.“
Excerpt from “The Last Summer” – a Memoir by Max Siegel
Max Siegel, born to bi-racial parents, survived a chaotic childhood with his music-executive father who was both at his side and consistently absent. Max’s childhood of kidnapping, violence, addiction and death threats played out against the backdrop of Motown, Beverly Hills, truck stops and the Vegas strip.
During Max’s time with his father, he took both Max and his younger sister from their mother, a blues singer from Indianapolis, and fled from the courts as he moved around the country. Max’s childhood effectively comes to a halt when his father dies at the age of 38, leaving the 12 yr. old boy fatherless. Eventually returning to a mother he hadn’t seen in five years and who he thought was dead, Max spent his teen years in the rough neighborhoods of Indianapolis. Despite the chaos and loss constantly present in his life, he excelled in school and sports and established a career against all odds that took him to the top of the music, auto racing and Olympic sports industries.
Because of these early life experiences the “ Max Siegel Youth Foundation” was born. The Foundation was established to reach out to kids who may be in the same challenging similar situations that Max found himself as a child.
Working in various executive capacities in the sports and entertainment fields over the last 25 years, Max’s track record has consistently been that of financial growth and competitive success. He previously served as President of Global Operations at Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he sold tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship. As Senior Vice President at Sony/BMG and as President of Zomba Gospel, Tommy Boy Gospel and Verity Records, he led one of the most profitable divisions in the Sony BMG system. As a music executive, he increased top-line revenue and reduced expenses to yield unprecedented profit in the gospel industry. He was part of the executive team overseeing the careers of stars such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Usher.
As the owner of Rev Racing, Max took NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program and advanced it from a fledging effort to add diversity to the sport into a competitive juggernaut on the racetrack. In 2011, his team’s drivers won 50 percent of all races on the K&N Pro Series East circuit, NASCAR’s top developmental circuit and in 2012 pulled away with the championship title.
Max is the current CEO of USA Track & Field with more than 20 years as a high-profile executive and attorney in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Additional Olympic-family experience includes work with USA Gymnastics, USA Skiing, USA Swimming and the Goodwill Games while he was an attorney with Indianapolis-based Baker & Daniels in the 1990s. In addition to representing sports figures such as Hall of Famers Reggie White and Tony Gwynn during their careers, he has created literary, television and film properties, including the 2010 BET Networks series, “Changing Lanes,” and the 2011 ESPN documentary, “Wendell Scott: A Race Story.” Scott was among the recently announced list of nominees eligible for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Max is also the author of “Know What Makes Them Tick: How to Successfully Negotiate Almost Any Situation.” and “The Last Summer.”