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Winston Groom

Best-Selling Author of Forrest Gump


"If you see a line, go stand in it, probably can't hurt nothing," is a sample of the pithy wisdom of "Forrest Gump," Winston Groom's literary creation.

Groom took the publishing world by storm when his 1986 novel Forrest Gump flew to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List and stayed there for 21 weeks. It has sold over 3 million copies in the United States alone and millions more worldwide on the heels of its blockbuster movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks. The book has also been reprinted in at least 13 countries.

The idea for the character of "Forrest Gump" came from Groom's father, who knew a man who was slow witted but whose mother taught him to play the piano. This hit a nerve with Groom and over the following six weeks, he created the character of "Gump." Groom believes that "Gump" shows that one does not have to be smart or rich to have dignity. The film grossed over $700 million, garnered six Academy Awards, and gave birth to numerous tie-in products.

Groom is the author of 18 books. In addition to Forrest Gump and Gump & Co., Groom's novels include Better Times Than These; Gone the Sun; Only; and the award-winning As Summers Die, which was made into a movie starring Bette Davis. Groom is also a renowned author of history. One of his books, the prize-winning Shrouds of Glory, is "a meticulous, atmospheric history of the little known, but very dramatic, western campaign of the Civil War," inspired by tales of his great-grandfather who fought for the Confederate Army. His latest work The Generals: Douglas MacArthur, George Patton and George Marshall and the Crucible of War will be published in October, 2015.

In high demand on the lecture circuit, Winston Groom discusses both his novel sensations and his history books. He believes, as "Forrest" says, "Always be able to look back and say, ‘At least, I didn't lead no humdrum life.'"

Read full bio.


The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Groom

Southern Hospitality: Lifestyle & Writing in the South

My Journey from the American South to Vietnam and Back

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