Max is a proud Ogden boy, graduate of Uintah Elementary School, South Ogden Junior High and Bonneville High School.

He then packed up his Subaru and journeyed to the big city to study all kinds of random stuff at the University of Utah.

Random stuff became Max’s specialty, meandering to a history degree and then into a two-year stint as a VISTA helping set up the Emma Lou Thayne Community Service Center at Salt Lake Community College.

Turns out Graduate School in random stuff is called Seminary, where you spend three years learning more history, psychology, theology and no-longer-spoken languages.

The real disappointment, a Master of Divinity did not qualify Max to make a fluffy white vanilla-pecan confection.

But from great disappointment comes revelation: there’s a job in random stuff and it’s called journalism!

And so Max’s meandering path led to the University of Southern California Annenberg School, and on to Palm Springs and home to Utah.

Of course, love leads from randomness to specificity, and Max loves politics. He’s not ashamed to admit he was a David Brinkley fan when it WASN’T cool (you band-wagoners know who you are!)

When Max found a woman who actually had fun on a first date at the Utah State Legislature hearing the “State of the Judiciary” address, he knew he’d found the one.

That was in 1994. Natalie still tolerates him to this day, and his two sons have no choice.


Recent Articles
  • Veteran stops in Utah on her nationwide effort to tell fellow vets’ stories

    SALT LAKE CITY — An award-winning military photographer is focusing her lens on telling the story of Utah veterans from every generation and branch of service. With the click of her camera, war veteran Stacy Pearsall is doing more than just capturing these veterans’ portraits. She’s also learning each of their stories. But her journey to Utah with the Veterans Portrait Project wasn’t easy. “The doctor said I couldn’t do photography anymore because of my injuries,” Pearsall said. She had […]

  • Planetarium celebrates moon landing anniversary

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Clark Planetarium in downtown Salt Lake City has a number of events planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. But many visitors were not alive the last time a NASA spacecraft carried an astronaut. The Space Shuttle finished its last mission July 21, 2011. With that in mind, we found a young Utahn to show us how exciting space can be. In the video above watch Brighton and her family experience […]

  • Convicted con artist’s trail of lies passes through Utah on latest stop

    SALT LAKE CITY — A man of many names and felony charges struck two Utah organizations where it hurts: in their dreams and ideals. They called him Adrain Noe in Dallas in 2008 when charges suggest he used false identities to ingratiate himself with politicians and their campaign managers. In Iowa in 2014, he went by Adrain Swenson when he pleaded guilty to charges of stealing from the American Red Cross and was sentenced to more than five years in […]

  • Inland port controversy: a red project in Utah’s blue city

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s inland port controversy has fanned ongoing frustration among many Salt Lake City residents who see the decision as the ultimate expression of conservative political power wielded against the wishes of a progressive city. In the story above, we look at the vote to create the inland port in 2018. Every state senator based in Salt Lake City (one Davis County district extends into a neighborhood of Salt Lake) voted against the port, as did every […]

  • What and Why with Max Roth Podcast: The skills of a spy and how they apply to the rest of us

    Jason Hanson was a CIA officer from 2003 to 2009. Now he runs a security firm and has written Agent of Influence: How to Use Spy Skills to Persuade Anyone, Sell Anything, and Build a Successful Business. We shoot the breeze about spy stuff and work our way to the advice offered in the book. Listen to “What and Why with Max Roth” on these platforms: Apple Podcasts | Art19 | Castbox | Google Podcasts | iHeartRadio | Pocket Casts […]

  • Working from home pays off, state telecommuting experiment results show

    SALT LAKE CITY — The State of Utah has spent a year collecting data to show telecommuters are just as productive as office workers, but in the end, they got different results. They showed telecommuters are more productive. “In fact, we saw a 23 percent increase,” said Lt. Governor Spencer Cox. Four state agencies had 136 workers telecommute, meaning they worked from home for at least three days a week. Each of the employees had a job with colleagues in […]

  • Salt Lake City to host 2021 Quidditch Cup

    SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Quidditch Cup will be coming to Salt Lake City in 2021. The 14th U.S. Quidditch Cup will be held at Salt Lake City’s Regional Athletic Complex on April 17 and 18 in 2021, Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office stated in a press release. US Quidditch made the announcement earlier in the week and this is the first major quidditch event to be held west of the Rocky Mountains. “We are thrilled to be the […]

  • Government report on border detention conditions shocks Utah Latino activists

    Images of detained asylum seekers on the U.S. Mexico border have shocked many of Utah’s Latino residents, says Luis Garza, the executive director of Comunidades Unidas of Utah. “We need to remember that the people that are currently in those detention facilities, they are children and families and are not criminals,” Garza said. Conditions on the border were documented in a report from the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security in a report prepared after a June visit […]

  • Family welcomes quadruplets into the world in Ogden

    OGDEN, Utah — The Staleys went from a family of five to a family of nine in one day. It was June 6 that Tara, Cole, Parker, and McCall were born in Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. “It’s been three weeks and a couple days and we’re finding our new normal if that exists,” Heather said. In the video above, meet the amazing couple, their four newborns, and their oldest son, who will make you smile.

  • Lueck family member speaks for first time in brief, emotional appearance

    SALT LAKE CITY — MacKenzie Lueck’s uncle read a brief statement during the press conference in which police revealed the 23-year-old University of Utah student had been killed: It was the first time any member of Lueck’s family has spoken publicly since she was reported missing on Thursday, June 20. Before reading the statement, he was clearly emotional, taking a few seconds to compose himself at the podium. He did not provide his name and said the family would not […]

  • US Supreme Court decides on gerrymandering, drawing blood and a census citizenship question

    The Supreme Court filed three major decision on the final day before recessing with far-reaching ramifications for political representation and policing — and Utahns will feel the effects. In Mitchell v. Wisconsin the court decided that police have a right to draw blood from an unconscious DUI suspect under that state’s implied consent law. Utah also has such a law that states drivers automatically accept the right of police to take a breath and/or blood test. In Rucho v. Common […]

  • Utah representatives say similar things, vote differently on border aid

    WASHINGTON — Utah representatives Chris Stewart, John Curtis and Ben McAdams, two Republicans and a Democrat, respectively, gave similar diagnoses of the problems leading to a humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, but they voted differently when an aid bill came up for a vote in the House of Representatives Tuesday night. “This is a refugee crisis,” McAdams said, citing economic and public safety problems in the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. “We […]

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