On this day…
23rd March, 1943 – Winston Groom born
Winston Francis Groom, Jr. (born March 23, 1943) is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. He’s best known for his book Forrest Gump, which was adapted into a film by Robert Zemeckis in 1994. He published a sequel, Gump and Co., in 1995. He’s also written numerous non-fiction works, on diverse subjects including the American Civil War and the Great War.
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. 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.
Additional Sources – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Groom