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Home - by - July 4, 2014 - 02:07 America/New_York - 13 Comments

WWII hero, Olympian Louis Zamperini dies

An Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. Louis Zamperini was 97.

Obit Zamperin660

“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,” the Zamperini 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 days,” the statement said.

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» 13 Comments

  1. Well....

    July 4th, 2014

    Well at least the VA did not kill him

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  2. MaryfromMarin

    July 4th, 2014

    I read Laura Hillebrand’s biography of Mr. Zamperini: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Excellent book, incredibly harrowing in places. I recommend it.

    Yes, thank you, sir, for an outstanding example of courage and determination.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +10

     
  3. Mr.B

    July 4th, 2014

    I read the book as well. Unbelievable story. Godspeed.

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  4. joe6pak

    July 4th, 2014

    “Unbroken” is a book that I recommend with two thumbs up, it is one hell of a story. RIP Mr. Zamperini, one incredible man!

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  5. Plain Jane

    July 4th, 2014

    May the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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  6. Corky

    July 4th, 2014

    I will echo the above thoughts–the book is well well worth reading. An incredible man with an incredible story. This is a man who certainly suffered greatly but wouldn’t let it conquer him. God Bless you sir and RIP. Thank-you for your service and the impact you had on many. Read the book!

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  7. Geoff the aardvark

    July 4th, 2014

    Unbroken was one of the books that my book club read about a year ago. Great book, God bless Louis Zamperini. Let’s hope the movie coming out later this is as good as the book.

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  8. Roadmaster

    July 4th, 2014

    One double-tough son of a gun! I salute him and pray for his family

    My Uncle was the same breed, but with a much harder life before being captured as a civilian by the Japanese on Wake Is. Dec 17, 1941 and POW until Sept 26, 1945. Out of 2600 prisoners in his camp, only he and 259 others survived. He told me once that he watched many guys who were in much better shape than he was, simply give up, lay down and die. Unk was determined not to give the “dirty, miserable bastids” the satisfaction of dying.

    Hope I’m as tough and resilient as Mr. Zamparini & my uncle if circumstances require it. They’re a dying breed.

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  9. ODA315

    July 4th, 2014

    Sir, God will receive you with open arms.

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  10. DaveVA

    July 4th, 2014

    What an amazing story.

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  11. Merry

    July 4th, 2014

    One by one, they’re slipping away. RIP Mr. Zamperini.

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  12. citizenjane

    July 4th, 2014

    All my respect, sir. RIP.

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  13. mickey_moussaoui

    July 4th, 2014

    We don’t make em like that anymore.

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