Max was bought by Clooney in 1988 as a gift for his former girlfriend Kelly Preston. He used to have a special cattle-pen and his own corner in the garage of Clooney's manor. Max was seriously injured in 2001 when one of Clooney's friends accidentally ran him over with his car. Weighing ca. 300 pounds (over 130 kg), Max died in Los Angeles of natural causes, as has been stated by Clooney's press secretary Stan Rosenfield. Because he was known to have arthritis, and was partly blind, the animal was falsely reported to have died in January 2005. Clooney dotingly recalls that Max would squeal every morning until he was fed.
A column on Max by Clooney's father, Nick, appeared in Cincinnati Enquirer.