Alex Haleys full name was Alexander Palmer Haley. He was born in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1921, and grew up in Henning, Tenn. Educated at Elizabeth City Teachers College in North Carolina, Haley became a journalist while serving in the United States Coast Guard from 1939 to 1959. After retiring from the service, Haley moved to Los Angeles, finding fulltime employment as a freelance writer. First known for his work as co-author and editor of the highly regarded Autobiography of Malcolm X, Haleys biggest success stemmed from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Extensively researched and based in part on Haleys own African roots, the work became a national bestseller and, in addition to the Pulitzer, won the Springarn Medal in 1977. Roots was also adapted into one of the first television miniseries and garnered some of the highest ratings in television history. His next book, Queen, told the story of Queen Haley, Alex Haleys paternal grandmother. He died before this work was completed and it was finished by David Stevens. This was also adapted for television. Another work, Mama Floras Family compiled from Haleys unpublished writings, continues the family saga and was published in 1998. Alex Haley died in 1992 in Seattle, Washington. He was 71 years old.