Haley was born in Ithaca, N.Y., to a professional family. He served the Coast Guard for 20 years before becoming a writer.
Haley wrote adventure stories earlier in his career. Some were published in Playboy magazine.
Haley interviewed Malcolm X extensively to write Malcolm X's 1965 autobiography.
His epic "Roots" was the culmination of years of research on his own family tree. It won him fame and a 1977 Pulitzer Prize.
-- Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Pub Date: 02/28/99