Louis Zamperini, Inspiration for ‘Unbroken,’ Dies At 97

By  //  July 4, 2014

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'Unbroken' movie directed by Angelina Jolie

ABOVE VIDEO: World War II hero and “Unbroken” inspiration Louis Zamperini has died at age 97.  Zamperini, a World War II prisoner of war survivor and former Olympic distance runner, was the subject of Lauren Hillenbrand’s book, “Unbroken,” which was adapted into a film by the Coen brothers, and directed by Angelina Jolie.

World War II hero and "Unbroken" inspiration Louis Zamperini has died at age 97.  Zamperini, a World War II prisoner of war survivor and former Olympic distance runner, was the subject of Lauren Hillenbrand's book, “Unbroken,” which was adapted into a film by the Coen brothers, and directed by Angelina Jolie. (Universal image)

World War II hero and “Unbroken” inspiration Louis Zamperini has died at age 97. Zamperini, a World War II prisoner of war survivor and former Olympic distance runner, was the subject of Lauren Hillenbrand’s book, “Unbroken,” which was adapted into a film by the Coen brothers, and directed by Angelina Jolie. (Universal image)

“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,” Zamperini‘s family said in a statement.

“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. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”

Jolie said in a statement, “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.” 


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