Even if you’re not familiar with his name, you’re probably familiar with one of Alex Haley’s most famous works: Roots: The Saga of an American Family. A powerful and resonant author and historian, Haley used the story of his own family’s horrific ancestry as slaves to write the acclaimed novel that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1977. It was also made into a mini-series on ABC in 1977 and later for History in 2016. Roots is a novel I highly recommend. It is a sobering look at a dark time in our nation’s history.
Prior to being a writer, Haley enlisted as a member of the Coast Guard during World War II – a compelling story in itself – where he eventually became the first chief journalist of the Coast Guard before retiring from the branch in 1959.
Haley would go on to conduct interviews for Playboy magazine, author The Autobiography of Malcolm X in 1965, write a screenplay titled Super Fly T.N.T. released in 1973, and the aforementioned Roots.
Haley passed away in 1992, but his contributions to American literature continue to resonate today.
Below are several interview clips I found of this amazing man speaking about his life, career, and issues still relevant today.
Check out the official Alex Haley website HERE.
Back in two weeks with another great author!