Author Alex Haley (1921–1992) was born Alexander Murray Palmer Haley in Ithaca, New York, and grew up in Henning, Tennessee. He is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a book inspired by his grandmother's stories of enslaved family and friends. In 1977, ABC's adaptation of his book drew a record-breaking audience. For his exhaustive research and literary skill in writing Roots, he received the NAACP's Spingarn Medal in 1977. He earlier co-wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley. Alex Haley spent the first 20 years of his career in the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1999, the Coast Guard named one of its cutters after him: the USCGC Alex Haley.