Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Mobile County, Alabama, Winston Francis Groom Jr. has died at the age of 77.
He was best known as the man who wrote the cultural phenomenon that was Forrest Gump.
Groom served in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division from 1965 to 1969, and during that time served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Upon his return to civilian life, Groom worked as a reporter for the Washington Star before turning he began writing novels.
He wrote a total of 16 novels with his biggest success coming from Forrest Gump, which was adapted for the screen and made into the iconic movie starring Tom Hanks. The film won six Academy Awards. I was not aware, but there is a sequel to Forrest Gum called Gump and Co. It was written to chronicle Forrest's life throughout the 1980s. On the first page, Forrest Gump tells readers "Don't never let nobody make a movie of your life's story," and "Whether they get it right or wrong, it don't matter."
“Saddened to learn that Alabama has lost one of our most gifted writers. While he will be remembered for creating Forrest Gump, Winston Groom was a talented journalist & noted author of American history. Our hearts & prayers are extended to his family.” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement .
Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama, said in a message on social media that Groom had died in that south Alabama town. A local funeral home also confirmed the death and said arrangements were pending.