Meet Bruce Ackerman

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Posted July 2, 2020 | Photography by John Jernigan

Bruce Ackerman received his first camera when he was 2 years old. As he grew up, a camera was never far away, including when he was a student at the University of Richmond. That was where he encountered a crash scene outside campus in which two female students died. The next day, AP, UPI and the Richmond Times Dispatch all wanted his photos.

He soon was offered a job as a stringer by UPI. He also shot for the Richmond Times Dispatch, covering sports, features, the Legislature and a visit by President Ronald Reagan.

“The thing that really got me hooked in this profession was when the Washington Post ran a photo I took of two legislators discussing a bill,” he says. “It ran five columns wide on the Sunday front page. And I said, ‘This is for me!’ I was hooked.”

Bruce moved to Ocala in 1991 and started working for the Ocala Star-Banner in 1992. Over the years, he has covered local news, features and events, including hurricanes, and a wide variety of sporting events. He has consistently won awards on state and national levels.

In his spare time, he is a big fan of auto racing and taking care of his 1997 Chevy Blazer 4×4, which has more than 400,000 miles on it.

As for the debut of the Ocala Gazette, this is “history in the making,” he states.