Black American author, biographer and scriptwriter (1921-1992). Was born in Ithaca, New York and grew up in Tennessee.
In 1965 he wrote his first major work, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which would influence the black power movement. Later, he researched his own genealogical history back to Kunta Kinte, from the village of Juffure, who was taken to America as a slave in 1767. From this research, he wrote a biographical book, Roots, which won the 1977 National Book Award. The book was made into a miniseries of the same name.