Haley, Alex(ander Palmer)

Haley, Alex(ander Palmer)

biographical name

(born Aug. 11, 1921, Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.—died Feb. 10, 1992, Seattle, Wash.) U.S. writer. He was raised in North Carolina, served in the Coast Guard (1939–59), and later became a journalist. An interview with Malcolm X led to the best-selling Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965; film, 1992). His greatest success, however, was Roots (1976, special Pulitzer Prize), a history of seven generations of his ancestors beginning with their enslavement. Adapted for television, it became one of the most popular American television shows ever and spurred great interest in genealogy, though Haley later admitted that the saga was partly fictional.

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