Winston Groom has passed on at age 77. He was the author whose novel ‘Forrest Gump’ was made into an amazing 1994 film that won 6 Oscars and turned into a sky-high pop social wonder.
The Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama, said in a message via social media that Groom had left this world in the south Alabama town. A memorial service home confirmed the news of the death and said the funeral services are pending.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement “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.”
“Forrest Gump” was the improbable tale of a slow-witted but mathematically gifted man who was a participant or witness to key points of 20th Century history – from Alabama segregationist Gov. George Wallace’s ‘stand at the schoolhouse door,’ to meetings with presidents.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our Legends, Winston Groom,” the university posted on Twitter.
We are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our Legends, Winston Groom. A 1965 UA graduate, Groom authored 16 books, including Forrest Gump. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time. Bio: https://t.co/KoyJD7alVy #WhereLegendsAreMade pic.twitter.com/8B1V1BmOn3
— The Univ. of Alabama (@UofAlabama) September 17, 2020
It was the most popular book by Groom, who experienced childhood in Mobile, Alabama, and moved on to graduate from the University of Alabama in 1965, as per a history posted by the college.
Groom served in the Army from 1965 to 1969 in Fourth Infantry Division, the university disclosed. His administration included a visit to Vietnam which was one of the settings for “Forrest Gump.”
He completed 16 books, which include both fiction and non-fiction. One, ‘Conversations with the Enemy,’ about an American POW in Vietnam blamed for joint effort, was a finalist for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, as per the college.
It was “Forrest Gump” – and the achievement of the 1994 film featuring Tom Hanks playing the unforgettable role of Gump, just as Sally Field and Gary Sinise, that earned him far and wide acclaim and some budgetary achievement.
Since the publication of the original novel, it has sold over 1.7 million copies.
The original novel is not quite the same as the film. Don Noble, University of Alabama teacher emeritus of English, and a 40-year companion of Groom’s disclosed to The Tuscaloosa News that the novel was “Darker” and “Richer” than the film.
“You can make a lot of money as a comic writer, but you can´t get no respect,” Noble said. “But “Forrest Gump” is quite a fine novel. It´s more subtle and more complicated … richer than the movie.”
The film, which likewise featured Robin Wright and Mykelti Williamson, turned out to be profoundly implanted in the American mind and has stayed a suffering TV staple and enormous social marvel since.