Tributes have been paid to Forrest Gump author Winston Groom whose work was adapted into Oscar-winning film starring Tom Hanks.

Winston's story about a slow-witted but kind-hearted and mathematically gifted man from Alabama was adapted into the 1994 blockbuster film that grossed more than $683 million (about €527 million) at the global box office. It won six Academy Awards including best picture and best actor for Hanks.

Groom's death was confirmed by Alabama governor Kay Ivey.

"Saddened to learn that Alabama has lost one of our most gifted writers," she said.

"While he will be remembered for creating Forrest Gump, Winston Groom was a talented journalist and noted author of American history. Our hearts & prayers are extended to his family."

Groom graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965 before a spell in the US Army, which included a tour of duty in the Vietnam War.

In its tribute, the university called him "one of our legends".

Following the success of Forrest Gump, Groom wrote a follow-up, 1995's Gump and Co.

As well as fiction, Groom, a former journalist, also wrote non-fiction on a range of subjects, including the American Civil War.