The Esserman Family Fund for Investigative Journalism honors and strengthens accountability reporting in South Florida by supporting reporters whose work has the power to change laws and lives.


This initiative, created by Ronald and Charlene Esserman and their family, is a way to herald the importance of a free press and fortify journalism’s crucial role in ensuring democratic freedoms. The Essermans believe that amplifying the voices of journalists and their courageous work will keep the community focused on injustice, suppression, and corruption and galvanize us to stand up for change.


Investigative Reporting Fellowships at South Florida news organizations for early-stage reporters.


The Annual Esserman-Knight Journalism Awards, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, seeks to celebrate and encourage outstanding investigative and public service reporting in South Florida and to foster a community that cares deeply about local news. The prestigious recognition program honors journalists who take risks to expose injustice and demand accountability in order to support a more engaged and informed South Florida community. 


You can join the Essermans in their work to safeguard a free press and democracy through a donation of any size.


After the couple moved to Miami from Chicago in 1968, Ron built a network of businesses in South Florida in the automotive industry, heralded for his focus on quality and integrity. Ron brought humanism to his workplace and invested in the advancement and well-being of his employees. Ron and Charlene also supported many community causes, establishing organizations that contributed to the cultural health and well-being of Miami-Dade County. They helped establish Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate Foundation, and shaped the Miami City Ballet, the Florida Grand Opera and the Arsht Center. 


Throughout their lives, they have been engaged in the political process and supported candidates and causes that focused on guaranteeing free speech, equality for all, quality education and access to resources to enable everyone to have a chance to build a better life.


Ronald Esserman (January 8, 1927 – July 20, 2020)

Visionary Mind, Optimistic Spirit, Generous Heart

Ron and Charlene Esserman
Ron and Charlene Esserman