Max Sanders was born in Weiden Opf, West Germany on May 10, 1947 to Frieda Sanders. He moved to Griffin, Georgia, USA in 1963 at the age of 15. While growing up in Georgia, he learned English and the importance of hard work while working on his uncle’s dairy farm. He graduated from Griffin High School in 1966.
Following graduation from high school, he attended what is now known as Middle Georgia State University. He continued working on the dairy farm helping his uncle. He then transferred to what is now known as the University of North Alabama. During his time there, he worked at a number of jobs, including deliveryman, security guard, and the Unemployment Office. He received his U.S. Citizenship in 1970. He graduated in 1972 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Commission in the United States Army.
In 1973, he transferred to the Alabama Army National Guard. In 1975, he began working as a Alabama State Probation and Parole Officer assigned to Lawrence County, Alabama. During his time as a Probation and Parole Officer, he worked with 5 Sheriff’s administrations and many other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. He received a Master’s Degree from Troy State University (Montgomery, Alabama) in 1978, NRA Firearms Instructor Certification in 1982, Public Manager Certification at Auburn University in Montgomery in 1995, and FBI Firearms Instructor Certification at Montgomery Police Academy in 1997.
He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Alabama National Guard in 1998, after 25 years of service. In 2007, after 32 years of service, he retired as a Probation and Parole Officer. He continued working part time with the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles until 2009. After retirement he volunteered as a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy in Lawrence County, Alabama for a number of years. In 2018 he was elected Sheriff of Lawrence County and is currently serving in that role.
He married Louisa McDowell Sanders in 1973, after dating her in college. They have been married for 44 years. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Their son, Russ Sanders and his wife, Melissa Sanders, reside in Lawrence County. They have a daughter, Zoey. Their daughter, Maria Sanders Ingram, and her husband, Ryan Ingram, reside in Huntsville. Maria and Ryan have a son, Connor.
He is very active in the community through service in several organizations. He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, the American Legion, the Moulton Lions Club, the United Way Board, and the Lawrence County Republican Executive Committee, and attends Moulton Baptist Church.