Winston Groom, the southern novelist adored for authoring Forrest Gump, has died at the age of 77, Fairhope, Alabama Mayor Karin Wilson confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Groom was born in Washington D.C., but was raised in Mobile and was a University of Alabama alumnus.

After a two-year stint in the Army including a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, Groom spent most of his professional life writing in Alabama.

He authored his fourth novel, Forrest Gump, in 1986. The novel was immortalized upon its adaptation into the 1994 film of the same name starring Tom Hanks.

Arrangements are pending at Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home in Fairhope, Alabama.

Wilson is the co-owner Page & Palette, a bookstore in Fairhope with which Groom was heavily involved, and also serves as the city's mayor.

She said that Groom's family reached out to let her know that he died Wednesday night at his home in Point Clear, Alabama.

This is a developing story, complicated by the damage and flooding Fairhope sustained this week as Hurricane Sally pounded the Gulf Coast. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.

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