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Thread: RIP, Louis Zamperini!

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    RIP, Louis Zamperini!

    Louis at the 1936 Olympics as a 19 year old sprinter. He later ran for USC while a student there.

    Louis returning from a Japanese WWII prisoner of war camp. His mother had thought he was dead.

    Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner and World War II officer who survived a horrific plane crash, a seven-week journey across the Pacific in a raft, near starvation and unspeakable torture in Japanese POW camps, has died. He was 97. The cause of death was pneumonia, his family said in a statement from Universal Pictures, which is making a film adaptation of "Unbroken," Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling chronicle about Zamperini's life.

    "Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge. He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives," the Zamperini family said in a statement.

    I was fortunate to have met and talked with Louis several times in 2000 while he was on an Olympic themed cruise with me and my parents from San Francisco to Sydney. He spoke twice, along with several other former Olympic athletes, but was definitely the star of the program when he was also able to share his experiences during WWII. We had lunch with him several times as he was from Torrance, CA, where my parents lived, and we knew his name from it being given to the municipal airport in that town (when it was thought he was killed in WWII). He was a charming, gentle, funny, and caring guy, and I am proud to say that I was able to meet him.

    A recent image of Louis.

    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 07-04-2014 at 09:24 PM.

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