BALTIMORE — The U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday honored Alex Haley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Roots," by commissioning a cutter in his name--the first military vessel named for a journalist.
"By seeking his own roots, Alex Haley enlarged the world for millions of Americans, connecting us with a history we thought was lost," said Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, who was the keynote speaker at an invitation-only ceremony at the Coast Guard yard.
Among those in attendance were members of Haley's family, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) and actors from the television miniseries based on "Roots."
Haley, who died in 1992, spent 20 years in the Coast Guard, rising from ship's steward to become the first head of the Guard's public affairs office.