Author, Alexander Murray Palmer Haley Was Born In Ithaca, New York, On August 11, 1921. He Is Best Known As The Author Of Roots: The Saga of an American Family And The Autobiography Of Malcolm X.
After Dropping Out Of Alcorn State University, Haley Enlisted In The Coast Guard On May 29, 1939, Where He Served For The Next 20 Years.
It Was While In The Coast Guard That He Honed His Writing Craft. One Of The Ways He Did This Was By Writing Love Letters For The Other Sailors Who Had Girlfriends -- A Service For Which He Was Paid. He Later Worked As A Journalist For The Coast Guard.
After Leaving The Service In 1959, Haley Began Reader's Digest And Later For Playboy Magazine, Where He Interviewed Such Notable People As Miles Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cassius Clay (Now Muhammad Ali), Jim Brown, Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis, Jr. Melvin Belli, Quincy Jones And American Nazi Party Leader, George Lincoln Rockwell And Malcolm X. The Malcolm X Interview Led To The Collaboration On The Activist's Autobiography, The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
In 1976, Haley Published Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The Story Begins In A Village In Gambia, West Africa, With Haley's Own Forefather, Kunta Kinte. While Hunting For Material To Make A Drum, Kunte kinte Was Captured And Brought To Maryland As A Slave. Roots Traces The Lives Of Kunta Kinte's Offspring. The Book Was Eventually Made Into A History-Making Miniseries On ABC.
In The Late 1980s, Haley Began Working On a Second Historical Novel Based On Another Branch Of His Family, Traced Through His Paternal Grandmother, Queen—The Daughter Of A Black Slave Woman And Her White Master.
Haley Died In Seattle, Washington, February 10, 1992, Of A Heart Attack With The Story Unfinished. He Was Buried Beside His Childhood Home In Henning, Tennessee.
At His Request, The Book Was Finished By David Stevens And Published As Alex Haley's Queen. It Was Subsequently Made Into A TV Movie In 1993
" In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.