Alex Haley


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born in Ithaca, N.Y., after service with the coast guard (1939–59), in which he was a journalist, became the aid or ghost writer of The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965). Then, intrigued by a desire to discover his own black heritage, through research involving oral traditions in Gambia, he traced his family back seven generations to an African, Kunta Kinte, enslaved and brought to Annapolis in 1767. Of these facts, and many fictive inprovisations, he created the family chronicle Roots (1976), awarded a special Pulitzer Prize (1977).

Subjects: Literature.

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