Alex Haley became the best selling black author in history when his hugely popular novel Roots and its subsequent television miniseries captivated a global audience in 1976. The sweeping story of the history of one family from Africa through slavery to the present won a Pulitzer Prize. It was followed in 1979 by a second miniseries Roots the Next Generation. Haley was born on August 11, 1921 and served twenty years as a journalist in the Coast Guard. He wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X in 1965 and served as senior editor for Reader’s Digest. He started working on another family history Queen but died before he could complete it. It would later be finished by David Stevens and also became the basis for a popular miniseries.