Winston Groom

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Winston Groom
Born Winston Francis Groom, Jr.
(1943-03-23) March 23, 1943 (age 73)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Education UMS-Wright Preparatory School
Alma mater University of Alabama
Genre Novel

Winston Francis Groom, Jr. (born March 23, 1943)[1][2] is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. He is best known for his book Forrest Gump, which was adapted into a film by Robert Zemeckis in 1994. The film became a cultural phenomenon, and won six Academy Awards. He published a sequel, Gump and Co., in 1995. He has also written numerous non-fiction works, on diverse subjects including the American Civil War and World War I.

Life[edit]

Winston Groom was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Mobile County, Alabama, where he attended University Military School (now known as UMS-Wright Preparatory School).[3] 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[3] and the Army ROTC, graduating in 1965.[3]

He served in the Army from 1965 to 1969, including a tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Most of his Army service was with the Fourth Infantry Division.[3]

Upon his return from Vietnam, he worked as a reporter for the Washington Star, a Washington, D. C., covering the justice department and federal court system. Groom resigned to pursue a career in writing novels. Groom's first novel was Better Times Than These which was published in 1978.[4] Better Times Than These was about a rifle company 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.[5]

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,[3] with his wife Susan.

In November 2011, Groom introduced his latest history book, Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847. Groom describes how Brigadier General Stephen W. 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.

In 2016, El Paso, Groom's first novel in nearly 20 years was published.[6]

Works[edit]

Novels[edit]

Nonfiction[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blount, Serena (March 25, 2010). "Winston Groom". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Winston Groom - Encyclopedia of Alabama". 
  4. ^ Grimes, William (September 1, 1994). "Following the Star Of a Winsome Idiot". Nytimes.com. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ "1984 Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Why it took 'Forrest Gump' author nearly 20 years to write a new novel, Tom Vitale, MPR News

External links[edit]