R. Kirk Landon was a servant leader who gave all that he had to all he loved.

An innovative, straight-talking executive, Mr. Landon made a significant impact on Assurant and the communities the company serves. The executive turned philanthropist was best known for his generous spirit and passion for giving.

R. Kirk Landon

Mr. Landon served as chief executive officer and chairman of American Bankers Insurance Group – the company his father founded - from 1980-1999. He died March 24 at his home in Coral Gables. He was 85.

At the helm of ABIG (now part of Assurant), Mr. Landon commanded respect, valued the opinions of others and applied simple principles to running a business and his employees. He established the employee stock option program, tuition reimbursement and a host of incentives. He proudly encouraged the empowerment of people through the formation of the American Bankers Management Institute for executives and employees and pushed for training of field personnel in the sale of insurance products. He supported the development of a preschool for employees' children and later opened a public school on the Miami campus. Such initiatives and opportunities created a people-centric legacy that continues to live on today at Assurant.

It isn’t the perks that most employees remember about Mr. Landon, however. What is remembered is his giving spirit. He would randomly sit down in the cafeteria with employees he did not know to learn about them and reward others with silver coins for reciting the Company values and principles. When Hurricane Andrew hit the Miami campus, it was Mr. Landon who grabbed a bull horn and led the clean up efforts to ensure that the building and its employees were safe.

After retiring in 1999, Mr. Landon became a full-time philanthropist and advocate for educational, civic and cultural causes. His generous spirit and philanthropic arm reached far into the communities of South Florida where he donated millions in support of the arts, humanitarian interests and education.