Tributes paid to 'Forrest Gump' author Winston Groom, who has died aged 77

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·2-min read
'Forrest Gump' 1994 directed by Robert Zemeckis. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)
'Forrest Gump' 1994 directed by Robert Zemeckis. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images)

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

His novel about a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama was adapted into a 1994 blockbuster film starring Tom Hanks in the lead role.

Forrest Gump was a cultural sensation and grossed more than 683 million dollars (about £527 million) at the global box office on its way to winning six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Hanks.

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

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 1995, file photo, Winston Groom, author of "Forrest Gump," the book on which the film was based, signs copies of "Gump & Co.," the sequel to "Forrest Gump", at a New York City bookstore. Groom, the author of the novel "Forrest Gump" that was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop culture hit, has died, an Alabama official close to the writer said Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. He was 77. (AP Photo/Anders Krusberg, File)
Winston Groom, author of "Forrest Gump", signs copies of "Gump & Co.," the sequel to "Forrest Gump", at a New York City bookstore. (AP Photo/Anders Krusberg, File)

“Saddened to learn that Alabama has lost one of our most gifted writers,” she said.

Read more: 15 things you might not know about Forrest Gump

“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.”

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.

Read more: Forrest Gump sequel details revealed

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

Watch: A Tom Hanks superfan hilariously replicates scenes from Forrest Gump