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The “Unbroken” Man


Forget Forrest Gump.

Louis Zamperini ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, (evidently praised by Der Führer himself), he absconded with a Nazi flag from the Reich Chancellery (he still has it), flew B-24 Liberators over the Pacific in WWII, and survived adrift for 47 days in shark-infested waters after crashing.  His raft had drifted 2,000 miles, and had been strafed by a Japanese warbird by the time he and one other survivor unluckily beached on the (Japanese held) Marshall Islands.  As a POW, he survived for 25 hellish months in some of the most brutal Japanese prison camps of the war, singled out for special cruelty as a “famous” American athlete.

Tony Curtis was supposed to star in the film adaptation of his autobiography.  He was one of Billy Graham’s first well-known converts, and he’s now the subject matter of a new book by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit.

The look in Mr. Zamperini’s blue eyes is indescribable.  And rightly so.  Many of us will simply not live a life quite as rich (and quite as hard) as he has.

And don’t miss the WSJ’s interactive slide show chronicling his amazing life.  (I particularly enjoyed the skateboarding picture.)

WSJ:  The Defiant Ones

Interactive:  Louis Zamperini

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2010/11/30 12:36 pm

    Wow…I wish I could say something more fitting, but all I can come up with is “wow”.

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