Alex Haley Facts

Alex Haley Facts
Alexis Haley was a noted African-American writer who is best known for his novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which was later turned into a miniseries by the same name. Haley worked as a journalist, interviewing hundreds of people for a variety of magazines, and as a novelist and wrote one screenplay during his long and fruitful career, often approaching topics concerning race, discrimination, slavery, and other social issues. Haley was born Alexander Murray Palmer Haley on August 11, 1921 in Ithaca, New York to Simon and Bertha Haley. He lived for a time in the west Tennessee town of Henning before enlisting in the Coast Guard and serving in World War II and the Korean War. Haley married three times.
Interesting Alex Haley Facts:
Haley began his writing career while serving in the Coast Guard, first by writing letters for his fellow guards and then later as an official journalist for the service.
He briefly attended the historically black universities of Alcorn State University and Elizabeth City State College before enlisting in the Coast Guard.
After the Coast Guard, Haley worked as an editor for Reader's Digest before becoming a writer for Playboy in 1962.
Haley never saw any action in the Coast Guard and later described his service as mainly boring, but also an opportunity to hone his writing skills.
Haley wrote the first interview for Playboy
Haley interviewed many intriguing and controversial Americans for Playboy, including: Johnny Carson, Muhammad Ali, and the leader of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell.
The 1965 Autobiography of Malcom X was ghostwritten by Haley. It was his first book with latter additions adding his name.
Roots was based on Haley's family records, following one of his ancestors from his capture in Africa to his life as a slave in America: it was credited with raising the consciousness of the African-American experience among both white and black Americans.
Haley wrote the screenplay for the 1973 blaxploitation film Superfly T.N.T.
At the time of his death, Haley was working on the novel Queen, which was later finished by David Stevens.
Due to the success of Roots, it was turned into a miniseries that was watched by over 130 million people.
Roots is often cited as one of the factors for the current interest in genealogy.
The success of Roots also spawned a 1979 sequel miniseries titled, Roots: The Next Generations, which continued the story well into the twentieth century.
The subject of Roots has often be criticized for its lack of historicity, but supporters are quick to point out that the book never claimed to be anything other than a novel based on historical facts.
Haley died of a heart attack on February 10, 1992 in Seattle, Washington at the age of seventy. He was buried in his boyhood home of Henning, Tennessee.
In 1999, the Coast Guard named a cutter the Alex Haley after the former guardsman.


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