Alex Haley Heritage Square sits on the slopes of Morningside Park, presenting a commanding view of historic Knoxville, the downtown business district and the Smoky Mountains. The focal point of this community-built space is the stunning 13-foot high bronze statue of author and Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley.
Haley was born in 1921 in New York and served in the Pacific theater during WWII. Following the war, he became the first chief journalist within the Coast Guard and retired in 1959. Retirement was short lived as he became the senior editor for Reader’s Digest Magazine. He followed this in working for Playboy Magazine, where he interviewed Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, and many other notable people. He became well known for “The Autobiography of Malcolm X“ and “Roots”. In his later years he acquired a small farm in Clinton Tennessee (this is to the northwest of Knoxville) close to the Museum of Appalachia.