Writer Who Accused Roots Author of Plagiarism Dead at 82
Mar. 17, 1996
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Harold Courlander, a writer and news analyst who won a $500,000 settlement after accusing author Alex Haley of plagiarizing him in Haley's best-selling book ``Roots,'' died Friday of emphysema. He was 82.
Courlander, of suburban Bethesda, Md., was the author of more than 40 works, including volumes on African, Haitian and Hopi Indian folklore, as well as an analyst for the government's Voice of America radio network.
He accused Haley of plagiarizing parts of his 1967 novel, ``The African,'' in writing ``Roots.'' Haley denied the accusation in 1978, but he expressed regret that portions of Courlander's book had ``found their way'' into ``Roots.'' He also agreed to an out-of-court settlement of $500,000.
Courlander leaves his wife, Emma; a son, two daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.