The writer Winston Groom, whose novel Forrest Gump became the hugely successful Oscar winner in 1994 with Tom Hanks, has died at the age of 77.
The book, about the childish optimism of a slow-thinking but kind-hearted man, won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Actor, and three Golden Globes.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Sally Field and Robin Wright, it made $ 683 million (£ 526 million).
The groom’s death has been confirmed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
“It’s sad to learn that Alabama has lost one of our most gifted writers,” she wrote on Facebook, referring to Groom’s time at university, which he graduated in 1965.
“While he will be remembered for creating Forrest Gump, Winston Groom was a talented journalist and well-known writer on American history. Our hearts and prayers are with his family.”
Alabama University called the groom “one of our legends”.
After graduating, he served in the US Army, which included a business trip in the Vietnam War, before working as a reporter. He wrote Forrest Gump in 1985 and it was published the following year.
The film, seen through the eyes of Forrest Gump, has the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies as a backdrop, along with the Vietnam War and Watergate.
Meanwhile, Gump’s main wish is to be reunited with his child treasure, played by Wright.
Forrest Gump’s memorable quotes include his mother’s famous advice: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”
Groom wrote a follow-up titled Gump and Co in 1995 and also wrote nonfiction, including a book on the American Civil War.