RIP Louis Zamperini
Louis Silvie “Louie” Zamperini (born January 26, 1917 - July 2, 2014) was an American World War II prisoner of war survivor, inspirational speaker, and former Olympic distance runner. A film about his experiences, Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie and adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book by the Coen brothers (with earlier drafts by Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson), is due for release in 2014. Zamperini passed away on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97.
“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,” his family said in a statement (via THR). “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.”
Angelina also released a statement, saying “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.”