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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; 4 Jul 2014, 9:24 PM.
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    I loved Unbroken the book and await the movie, a rare human being.


      Shortly after Unbroken was published, I remember getting a call from my Mom telling me that I had to read this book. My younger brother calls me the next week telling me that I have to read, Unbroken. I read the book. I contacted one of my best friends (we both went to USC), who now lives in Tokyo, Japan to tell him to read the book. He finished the book in about three days. This book is a World War II treasure!

      He went to USC. He was a Trojan. Honor him.
      The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
      --General George Patton

      Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
      ––Paul Nussbaum


        Unbroken is on my read list now. I heard about it from a site for the Janesville 99. RIP, Captain.
        Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


          will add to my list RIP brother



            THE most amazing book I have ever read! RIP Louis Zamperini, you are one of my heroes!