|This biographical section of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
Winston Groom was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Baldwin County, Alabama, where he attended University Military School (now known as UMS-Wright Preparatory School). Groom's earliest ambition was to become a lawyer like his father; but, instead, while a literary editor in college, he chose to become a writer. Groom attended the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and the Army ROTC, graduating in 1965. He served in the Army from 1965 to 1969, including a tour of duty in the Vietnam War.
Upon his return from Vietnam, he worked as a reporter for the Washington Star, a Washington, D. C., newspaper covering police and courtroom activities. Groom retired from journalism at age 32, and began writing his first novel Better Times Than These which was published in 1978. Better Times Than These was about a group of patriotic soldiers in the Vietnam War whose lives and patriotism both are shattered. His next novel As Summers Die (1980) received better recognition. His novel Conversations with the Enemy (1982) follows an American Vietnam War soldier who escapes from a POW camp and takes a plane back to the United States only to be arrested fourteen years later for desertion. Conversations with the Enemy was a Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction finalist in 1984.
In 1985, Groom moved back to Mobile, Alabama, where he began to work on the novel Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump was published in 1986; however, it did not make Groom a best-selling author until it was adapted into a film with the same name in 1994, a film starring Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest Gump. The film propelled the novel to best-seller status, and the novel sold 1.7 million copies worldwide.
Groom devotes his time to writing history books about American wars. He has lived most recently in Point Clear, Alabama, and Long Island, New York, with his wife Anne Clinton and daughter, Carolina. Groom was an old friend of writer Willie Morris, dating to their days together in Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York.
In November 2011, Groom introduced his latest history book, Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847. Groom describes how Kearny’s quest for westward adventure coincides with the expansionist desires of the U.S. President, James K. Polk. Anchored in mid-summer 1846, the context for both the adventures and expansionism is the Texas Annexation from Mexico, the Mexican-American War, and the backdrop to the American Civil War. Just as in the film adaptation of Groom’s book Forrest Gump, where Gump is introduced through the technology of production company Industrial Light & Magic to a cast of celebrities including a young Elvis Presley, President John F. Kennedy, and President Richard Nixon, Groom weaves into Kearny’s March mountain man Kit Carson, Brigham Young and his Mormon followers, and members of the Donner party.
- Better Times Than These (1978)
- As Summers Die (1980)
- Only (1984)
- Forrest Gump (1986)
- Gone the Sun (1988)
- Gump and Co. (1995) ISBN 0671521705 OCLC 32988843
- Such a Pretty, Pretty Girl (1998) ISBN 0375501614
- Conversations with the Enemy: the story of P.F.C. Robert Garwood (1982, with Duncan Spencer) ISBN 0399127151 OCLC 9044556
- Shrouds of Glory: From Atlanta to Nashville: The Last Great Campaign of the Civil War (1995) ISBN 0871135914 OCLC 31376792
- The Crimson Tide: An Illustrated History of Football at the University of Alabama (2002)
- A Storm in Flanders: The Triumph and Tragedy on the Western Front (2002) ISBN 0871138425 OCLC 49285528
- 1942: The Year that Tried Men's Souls (2004) ISBN 0871138891 OCLC 57342246
- Patriotic Fire: Andrew Jackson and Jean Laffite at the Battle of New Orleans (2006) ISBN 1400044367 OCLC 60671930
- Vicksburg, 1863 (2009) ISBN 0307264254 OCLC 236339246
- The Crimson Tide: The Official Illustrated History of Alabama Football, National Championship Edition (2010)
- Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847 (2011) ISBN 0307270963 OCLC 701810360
- Ronald Reagan: Our 40th President (2012)
- Shiloh 1862 (2012) ISBN 142620874X OCLC 774404320
- Blount, Serena (March 25, 2010). "Winston Groom". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- "2009 College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame Inductees: Winston F. Groom, Jr.". UA News. University of Alabama. September 23, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- "1984 Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- longer bio at Jrank
- Profile at the Southern Literary Review
- Audio interview with Winston Groom at National Review Online
- review of Vicksburg 1863 by historian Christopher Waldrep
- A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918—Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front, Booknotes interview with Groom, September 1, 2002
- Works by or about Winston Groom in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Winston Groom at Library of Congress Authorities, with 25 catalog records