Max Edward Zimmerman was born in Vienna, Austria, on 20 September 1894, son of Adolph and Matilda (Schock) Zimmerman. In August 1913 he enlisted in the US Navy and in April 1918 was appointed Pharmacist. He was promoted to Chief Pharmacist on 15 July 1919 and on 3 March 1941 was commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Hospital Corps of the US Navy, 1 July 1950, having been assigned to the newly-established Medical Service Corps in August 1947. On 1 October 1956 he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy.
After enlisting in the US Navy in 1913, he had recruit training at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island and in April 1914 joined USS North Dakota. While attached to that battleship he went ashore with the Seaman’s Brigade at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in April 1914. Detached from that vessel in July 1915, he was next assigned to the Dispensary at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC, and in August 1917 reported on board USS Vermont. In April 1918 he transferred to USS Orizaba and continued to serve in that vessel until July 1919.
Following training at the Pharmacist Mates School, Hampton Roads, Virginia, he was assigned in December 1919 to the Naval Hospital, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. He remained there until December 1922 and after service, which extended to November 1925, in the Medical Department at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, he returned to duty at the Naval Hospital, Pensacola. He was attached to the Naval Station, Tutuila, Samoa during the period December 1928 to June 1940, then served as the Naval Dispensary, San Pedro, California. In July 1934 he reported as Administrative Officer at the Naval Hospital, Puget Sound, Washington, and in July 1937 joined USS Relief as Personnel Officer.
Detached from Relief in March 1940, he served as Administrative Officer at the Hospital Corps School, San Diego, California, and in June 1945 transferred, in a similar capacity, to the Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, Illinois. Continuing administrative duties, he served from October 1945 to April 1946 at the Naval Hospital, Farragut, Ohio, then at headquarters, Fourteenth Naval District, Pear; Harbor, T. H. In July 1948 he reported as Executive Officer of the Hospital Corps School, Portsmouth, Virginia, and in August 1949 assumed command of the Naval School of Hospital Administration, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
In July 1953 he reported as Administrative Officer at the District Medical Office headquarters in the First Naval District, Boston, Massachusetts. He continued to serve as such after his retirement, 1 October 1956, and until February 1957.
Commander Zimmerman had the Mexican Service Medal; Victory Medal, Transport Clasp (World War I); American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
He died in January 1990 and is interred in the columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery.