Winston Groom was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Mobile, 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 chose
instead to become a writer while a literary editor in college. Groom attended
the University of Alabama, 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 quit journalism in 1976 and
began writing his first novel Better
Times Than These which was published in 1978. Better Times Than
These was about a group of partriotic 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 EnemyConversations with
the Enemy was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1983. (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.
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 starring Tom Hanks in the
title role of Forrest Gump. The film propelled the
novel to bestseller status and it 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. Groom was an old friend of writer Willie Morris, dating to their days together in
Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York.