Forrest Gump author Winston Groom dies aged 77

September 18, 2020

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.

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.

"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".

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.

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