Eighty-eight years ago today, Chief Journalist (JOC) Alex P. Haley came into this world and started what would become a remarkable journey. He joined the Coast Guard as a mess attendant at the age of 18, but in just a few years he was making waves as an amazing writer. He soon became the first Coast Guard Journalist and by 1944 was assigned to edit “Our Post,” the official Coast Guard publication. In 1945, he won the Ship’s Editorial Association Award and served as an assistant to the public relations officer at Coast Guard Headquarters until 1959. His Pulitzer Prize winning and worldwide best selling book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family , was translated into 37 languages, sold 6 million copies and was made into a television mini-series in 1977.
Click here to read an article that highlights his life and career.
To carry on his journalistic tradition and memorialize his contributions, the Coast Guard awards the Chief Journalist Alex Haley Award to active duty and reserve members for their published writing, photography and videography. To find out more about the award, go to the Coast Guard Public Affairs Manual Chapter 7.B.