‘One of our legends’: Forrest Gump author Winston Groom dies

Tributes have been paid to Forrest Gump author Winston Groom, who has died aged 77.

Groom’s novel about a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama was adapted into a Hollywood film in 1994.

Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Gump, and the film itself won six other Oscars – including best picture – after grossing more than $683m (£527m) at the global box office.

It became a cultural sensation and in 2011 was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

Winston Groom. Pic: Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock
Image:Winston Groom, pictured in 1995. Pic: Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock

Groom’s death was confirmed by Alabama governor Kay Ivey.

She said: “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 and noted author of American history.

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“Our hearts & prayers are extended to his family.”

Groom graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965 before a spell in the US army, which included a tour of duty in the Vietnam War.

In its tribute, the university called him “one of our legends”.

Actor Tom Hanks sips a glass of water at the Governor's Ball March 27 as he holds the Oscar he won as best actor for his role in "Forrest Gump" at the 67th Academy Awards in Los Angeles
Image:Tom Hanks received an Oscar for his role in the film

Following the success of Forrest Gump, Groom wrote a follow-up, 1995’s Gump and Co.

Groom, a former journalist, also wrote non-fiction on a range of subjects, including the American Civil War.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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