After a 40 day long battle with pneumonia, the 97 year old veteran of WWII and former Olympic track runner passed away surrounded by his family.
Louis Zamperini training for the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games
Variety has a statement from Universal Pictures…
Universal Pictures said in its statement: “We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family. Louis was truly one of a kind. He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century’s worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them.”
Universal is releasing “Unbroken” on Christmas Day.
About two years ago, CBS Morning News produced the following fascinating segment on Zamperini’s life.
Unbroken – Louis Zamperini – CBS Sunday Morning – 5-27-12
Author Laura Hillenbrand spent seven years researching and writing her bestselling book “Unbroken, a moving portrait of a heroic subject, Louis Zamperini, now 94. Yet during all those years, while learning all the details of his gallant life – the Olympic track star, the World War II hero, the Christian role model – she never once met him.
They account for their mutual understandings as survivors of enormous suffering – Zamperini, who during the war was adrift on a raft in the Pacific Ocean after his B-24 went down and was then tortured for the duration of the war by a sadistic Japanese prison guard; and Hillenbrand, who was struck in mid-life by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, making it often impossible for her to get out of bed, let alone write.
Only a few brief months ago Jolie and Zamperini appeared on Brokaw’s ‘Today Show’ to discuss ‘Unbroken.’
Angelina Jolie & Louis Zamperini Talk ‘Unbroken’ on Today
Exclusive interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw. Aired Feb. 25, 2014 on the Today Show. ‘Unbroken’ out in theaters Christmas Day 2014.