Alex Haley Biography | Author of Roots

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In 1921 Haley was born in Ithaca, New York. He grew up in Henning, Tennessee, and even after his family moved, he spent his summers there. Haley's mother, Bertha, died when he was only twelve years old. Haley's father, Simon, was a respected professor of agriculture who died just before Roots was completed.

Haley was an indifferent student and eventually joined the Coast Guard. He found he had a talent for writing, and began to submit pieces to magazines. When he left the service at age thirty-seven, he had become the chief journalist for the Coast Guard, a position that had been created for him.

After struggling to make ends meet in his new civilian life, Haley received an assignment from Playboy to interview Miles Davis, the first of what were to become infamous as "the Playboy interviews." Soon afterwards, he began to collaborate with Malcolm X on his...

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This section contains 296 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Roots Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Roots from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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