By Sharon Aron Baron
Dr. John Ruffin, mentor, philanthropist, and the former chairman of the Coral Springs Community Redevelopment Agency, was posthumously awarded the 2021 MLK Monument Award by the Coral Springs MLK Committee.
Dr. Ruffin, 79, spent his life as an agent of change in the community. As the chairman of the United Negro College Fund in Fort Lauderdale, Ruffin had raised more than $2 million in scholarships during his time there.
His entrepreneurial spirit flourished over the years when he and partners purchased WRBD 1470 AM radio, making it South Florida’s first black-owned radio station in 1986.
Along with his wife, he also started J.D. Ruffin Associates that run retail concession shops to this day; the Ruffin Group, a consulting firm, and Trans Ocean Holdings, which developed economic relationships between the US, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
After a long battle with cancer, Dr. Ruffin passed away on July 24, 2020.
The MLK Monument Award honors local individuals or organizations who embody the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. John Ruffin Jr. was a dedicated visionary to the Coral Springs community who gave his time, talent, and treasure in harmony with the ideals of Dr. King.
“Dr. John W. Ruffin Jr. was a person that walked the walk and talked the talk. He was one of our greatest community leaders not just in Coral Springs but in all of South Florida,” said Vice Mayor Josh Simmons.
Simmons added that Dr. Ruffin was a man of principles and integrity, and his leadership changed the lives of many in Coral Springs.
“To honor him with the MLK Monument Award demonstrates how much we valued and continue to value him for his service to us all.”
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