Winston Groom, ‘Forrest Gump’ Author, Dies at 77

Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama shared the news of Groom’s passing in a Facebook post

Winston Groom — author of “Forrest Gump,” the book that inspired the Academy Award-winning film of the same name — died on Thursday. He was 77.

Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama, where Groom lived, shared the news of his passing in a Facebook post.

“It is with great sadness that I share the passing of our dear friend Winston Groom,” Wilson wrote. “The City of Fairhope has lost an iconic author today. Please keep his friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.”

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of our dear friend Winston Groom. The City of Fairhope has lost an…

Posted by Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama on Thursday, September 17, 2020

First written by Groom in 1986, “Forrest Gump” would go on to become his best-selling novel, with 1.7 million copies sold. The novel was adapted into a blockbuster film in 1994, starring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and Robin Wright. “Forrest Gump” would go on to win six Academy Awards in 1995, including a Best Actor statuette for star Tom Hanks, and Best Director for Robert Zemeckis.

Winston Groom later published a sequel in 1995 titled. “Gump and Co.”

Born Mar. 23, 1944 in Washington, D.C., Groom was raised in Mobile County, Alabama. He turned to novel writing in college and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965 with a degree in English before serving four years in the United States Army, including a tour in Vietnam.

After Groom returned stateside, he became a reporter for the Washington Star before focusing on writing novels full time. Groom moved to New York City where he finished his first novel set in the Vietnam War, “Better Times Than These,” which was published in 1978.

A University of Alabama alumnus, Winston Groom also complied and wrote the 2000 University of Alabama Press book, “The Crimson Tide: An Illustrated History of Football at the University of Alabama,” and an updated 2010 second version, “The Crimson Tide: The Official Illustrated History of Alabama Football, National Championship Edition.”

Groom is survived by his wife, Susan.