Malcolm X biographer Manning Marable has died


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Manning Marable, whose long-awaited biography of Malcolm X, ‘Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,’ will be published on Monday, died Friday. He was 60 years old.

Marable, who had led African American studies at Columbia University, was a professor there with many titles. Officially, he was the M. Moran Weston and Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and professor of history and public affairs at Columbia University. Columbia also notes that he was founding director of African American studies at Columbia from 1993 to 2003 and since 2002, he directed Columbia’s Center for Contemporary Black History.


As far back as 2005, Marable was talking about ‘Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.’ In February of that year, on Malcolm X’s birthday, he told Democracy Now about the materials that he had seen that others had not, including three ‘missing’ chapters from Malcolm’s autobiography that he said show the leader in a very different light.

Back then, Marable had already been at work on the biography for a decade -- meaning that he’d spent more than 15 years on the book and died just three days before its publication.

A Life of Reinvention’ by Manning Marable will be published by Viking on Monday.

Marable’s other books include ‘Beyond Black and White: Race in America’s Past, Present and Future’ (1995), ‘The Crisis of Color and Democracy’ (1995) and ‘The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life’ (2003).

The New York Times reports that Marable suffered from sarcoidosis and had undergone a double lung transplant as treatment for the disease last the summer. Last month he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

-- Carolyn Kellogg