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News Release
FOR RELEASE - September 14, 2012
Contact: Aaron Ellis (AAPA) or Judith Adams (ASPA),
(703) 706-4714 or (251) 441-7003

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

AAPA 101st Annual Convention to Feature “Forrest Gump” Author Winston Groom

Seaport association’s Oct. 21–25 conference to be held in Mobile, Ala.

“If you see a line, go stand in it, probably can’t hurt nothing” is a sample of the pithy wisdom of Forrest Gump by Gump’s creator, Winston Groom.  Attendees of the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 101st Annual Convention and Expo in Mobile, Ala.—hosted by the Alabama State Port Authority—will enjoy hearing from the Mobile-born author when he provides a luncheon keynote address during the convention on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Winston Groom took the publishing world by storm when his 1986 novel, “Forrest Gump,” flew to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and stayed there for 21 weeks.  It has sold more than 3 million copies in the United States alone, and millions more worldwide, on the heels of its blockbuster movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks.  The book has also been reprinted in at least 13 countries.

Groom is the author of 17 books. In addition to “Forrest Gump” and “Gump & Co.,” Mr. Groom’s novels include “Better Times Than These,” “Gone the Sun,” “Only,” and the award-winning “As Summers Die,” which was made into a movie starring Bette Davis. He is also the author of “Conversations with the Enemy,” a non-fiction account of the experience of an American prisoner of war in Vietnam, a brilliantly rendered Pulitzer Prize finalist. His novel “Such a Pretty, Pretty Girl,” was published by Random House in the spring of 1999.  He has also written “The Crimson Tide: An Illustrated History of Football at the University of Alabama.”

As well as being a talented novelist, Mr. Groom is also a renowned author of several history books focusing on different time periods.  One of these, the prize-winning “Shrouds of Glory,” is “…a meticulous, atmospheric history of the little known, but very dramatic, Western Campaign of the Civil War,” inspired by tales of his great-grandfather who fought for the Confederate Army.” 

“We’re thrilled to feature award-winning author Winston Groom at AAPA’s Annual Convention and Expo,” said Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. “We have a terrific line up of guest speakers to complement Mr. Groom’s luncheon address, including two governors, a noted Wall Street financial strategist, a top-ranked design firm vice president, security experts and a host of maritime industry leaders.  This is in addition to a busy exhibition hall and other activities that will make this convention a ‘not to miss’ event.”

More information about AAPA’s 101st Annual Convention and Expo, including its business program agenda, exhibitors and sponsors, is available at

WHO: American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA)
WHAT: Keynote luncheon address by renowned author Winston Groom at the American Association of Port Authorities 101st Annual Convention & Expo

Tuesday, October 23, 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm (click here for complete program agenda)

WHERE: Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, One South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602
MEDIA: Register for complimentary media access to open business sessions (Oct. 23–25) by contacting ASPA’s marketing vice president, Judith Adams, at (251) 441-7003, or by emailing her at

About the Alabama State Port Authority
The Alabama State Port Authority, headquartered in Mobile, Ala., owns and operates the state of Alabama’s deepwater port facilities at the Port of Mobile and its public facilities handled 25 million tons of cargo last year. The authority’s container, general cargo and bulk facilities have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections. Learn more at

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