Author Alex Haley (1921-1992) was best known for works depicting the struggles of African Americans. Raised in Henning, Tennessee, he began writing to help pass the time during his two decades with the U.S. Coast Guard. After conducting interviews with Malcolm X for Playboy magazine, he turned the material into his first book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1965). Haley’s subsequent novel, “Roots” (1976), was a fictionalized account of his own family’s history, traced through seven generations. It was adapted into a 1977 miniseries that became the most-watched broadcast in TV history, a record it would hold for years.