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Olympian and WW II veteran Louis Zamperini died

Jul 5, 2014 11:11 IST

Louis Zamperini, a 1936 US Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran, died due to pneumonia on 2 July 2014. He was 97.

About Louis Zamperini
• He was born on 26 January 1917 in the western New York city of Olean
• He participated in the 5000-meter race at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in which he became famous for running the last lap in 56 seconds despite finishing 8th
• He was also known as Torrance Tornado
• He was an enlisted in the US Army just before the Pearl Harbour incident in 1945 and participated in WW-II
• He survived on a raft for 47 days and before being captured by the Japanese Army. He spent more than two years as a Prisoner of War
• His life as a WWII prisoner of war is the subject of the 2010 book titled Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption authored by Laura Hillenbrand
• In December 2014 a movie adaption of the novel will be released. The movie is being directed by Angelina Jolie
• Zamperini, already a five-time Olympic torch bearer, ran a leg in the torch relay for the 1988 Winter Olympic in Nagano, Japan
• In May 2014, he was named as grand marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California

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