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They were coming to have lunch. RM: And in turn with this film, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, what impact do you hope it makes with audiences? He was asked to give the prayer over lunch and he gets on the microphone and this voice comes across the PA system and we thought, “Oh my goodness, this is going to be something. His story was eventually turned into a film called Unbroken that was directed by Angelina Jolie and has impacted thousands. It is unknown whether Watanabe even read the letter; Zamperini never received any response, and Watanabe died in 2003. Obviously, we loved talking about our dad. He served as a bombardier in B-24 Liberatorsin the Pacific. The 1,500 metres was stacked that year, with eventual silver medalist Glenn Cunningham, Archie San Romani, and Gene Venzke all challenging to get on the team. [8] That record helped him win a scholarship to the University of Southern California. Tolkien: Talks Early Years and Love for Language. The books and the films don’t quite get all the details. We knew he was going to be there and we wanted to meet him. He said, “Golly Lisa, what part of all things working together for good are you not understanding? At the end of his freshman year, he finished fifth in the All City C-division 660 yard (600 m) dash. McNamara ate all the chocolate they had in a panic, but he later redeemed himself by using an oar to defend the survivors from a shark attack. In 1919, Louis Zamperini along with his family moved to California. In April 1943, Super Man participated in a bombing mission against the Japanese-held island of Nauru, with Zamperini serving as bombardier. Zamperini competed in the 5,000-meter race in the 1936 Berlin Olympics – attracting the … Louis Silvie Zamperini (January 26, 1917 – July 2, 2014) was an American World War II veteran, an evangelical Christian, and an Olympic distance runner. The Zamperini Family: Louis with wife Cynthia and their children Luke and Cynthia. I called him Daddo, so I said, “Daddo, isn’t there anything that can be done to make [sure faith is included] this happen? Jolie was able to show him the film in the hospital and the 97-year-old was pleased with the film. In the film, it just shows a shark coming near Louis and he kicks it with his foot. Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini, … Cynthia: I just love this because when Angelina did her first rough cut of the film, her father had passed away a month or two before and she [invited] us to Universal to screen it for us and it was really traumatic because we had just lost our father. And these army chaplains were sitting there with their chins dropped because they are forbidden to speak the name of Jesus Christ in the schools and my dad is getting away with it because the kids are asking. Cynthia: That was rough on us. He attended the Torrance High School. Cynthia Zamperini-Garris: And I just want to add, Louis completely understood, once it was explained to him, the reasons why the film had to end. For forty-minutes he was doing a ballet with these sharks. Louis Zamperini's current partners: Louis Zamperini's wife was Cynthia Zamperini. Angelina apologized realizing it was a little premature. When Louis was a prisoner of war, the Japanese tried to convince him to speak Axis power propaganda in return for a warm place to live and food. 12: In the 1950s, Tony Curtis approached Zamperini, after the release of Zamperini's first book, about making a film with Curtis portraying Zamperini. Graham's preaching reminded him of his prayers during his time on the life raft and imprisonment, and Zamperini committed his life to Christ. Five of the crew were wounded, one of whom died. Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Louis Zamperini was an Olympic athlete and a US prisoner of war survivor (World War II), who later became a Christian evangelist. What did that mean to you as you two were forming your identities and faith? Zamperini passed away just before Unbroken hit theaters. He died of pneumonia on July 2, 2014, at his home in Los Angeles; he was 97. RM: In this sequel, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, we see how Louis came to know Jesus and Billy Graham was a big part of that. Share Louis's life story with friends and family. During his college life at USC, he was part of the Delta Eta chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. After 33 days at sea, McNamara died; Zamperini and Phillips wrapped up his body and pushed it overboard.[19][22]. Louis Zamperini’s mother’s name is unknown at this time and his father’s name is under review. He was raised in a strict Catholic household. The May 4 New York Times credited Zamperini with administering first aid to the five wounded members of his Liberator bomber crew and saving the lives of two on the return flight from the April 21 Nauru raid. [9] With a sprint finish at the end, Zamperini finished in a dead-heat tie against American record-holder Don Lash[6] and qualified for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. People demonstrate the power of God in their lives and that’s what happened to my dad. Luke Zamperini is the son of Louis Zamperini, one of World War II's most well-known prisoners of war and hero of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He and his family moved to Torrance, California, in 1919, where Louis attended Torrance High School. After drifting at sea on a lifeboat for 47 days, with 2 other crewmates, he landed on the Japanese occupied Marshall Islands and was captured. [23] They were held in captivity, severely beaten, and mistreated until the end of the war in August 1945. When did you understand who he was and what he had faced? Louismarried Cynthia Zamperini (born Applewhite)in 1946, at age 28. Indeed, there was the prayer on the raft where he made his promise to God and then the title at the end of the film where it spoke of him fulfilling his promise to God. Luke Zamperini is the only son of Louis Zamperini. Following the successful raid, his craft was attacked by three Japanese Zeros and the bomber was severely damaged. Cynthia Garris and Luke Zamperini were both born after World War II and best knew their father after he'd found his faith. She said it just wasn’t going to be dramatized. [27] However, Zamperini sent him a letter, stating that while he suffered great mistreatment from him, he forgave him. To stop him from getting into trouble as a rebel, his older brother Pete got Zamperini involved in the school track team where Pete was already a star. [24], Four days before his 81st birthday in January 1998, Zamperini ran a leg in the Olympic Torch relay for the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, not far from the POW camp where he had been held. 5,000-meter distance event at that Olympics, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, "B24 memorial honoring the personnel who crewed and supported the B-24", "California State Meet Results - 1915 to present", "The History of the United States Olympic Trials – Track & Field", "Miler Zamperini as Bombardier, Had 'Toughest Race' on Nauru Raid — Lieutenant, Credited With Saving Lives of Two Wounded Crewmen, Tells of Action in Shell-Riddled Liberator New York Times, May 4, 1943, page 6", "Louis Zamperini – Adrift in the Pacific", "Former track star, POW, doesn't get closure at 81 in his return to Japan", "Olympian runner, hero of WW II is honored anew", "Louis Zamperini dies at 97; Olympic track star and WWII hero", "Louis Zamperini returns to Berlin after 69 years", "There is no goal that USC's Matt Barkley won't pursue", "Louis Zamperini, war hero chosen as 2015 Rose Parade Grand Marshal, dies at 97", "Japanese rock singer Miyavi makes debut in, "War hero, former Olympian Louis Zamperini named Rose Parade Grand Marshal", "Brother Zamperini's incredible story focus of, "Olympic runner and WW2 prisoner Louis Zamperini dies", "The Tournament of Roses Expresses our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Louis Zamperini", http://news.usc.edu/72869/riderless-horse-traveler-to-honor-louis-zamperini-at-rose-parade/, https://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/06/05/torrance-hometown-hero-louis-zamperini-earns-a-stretch-of-the-405-in-his-honor/, "A stop-by-stop timeline of Louis Zamperini's journey", 1936 United States Olympic Trials (track and field), First International Congress on World Evangelization, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Louis_Zamperini&oldid=1003035558, American expatriate sportspeople in Japan, United States Army Air Forces personnel of World War II, American prisoners of war in World War II, Athletes (track and field) at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Converts to evangelical Christianity from Roman Catholicism, Olympic track and field athletes of the United States, Recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States), World War II prisoners of war held by Japan, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox military person with embed, Official website different in Wikidata and Wikipedia, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, On 10 May 2008, Zamperini was awarded the, In October 2008, Zamperini was inducted into the. Luke: Genius. Lisa: And our son, Louis’ only grandchild, Clay, spent about 45 minutes yesterday with Will in his trailer and they had just a wonderful time together. But we hadn’t met Will. Following this, he forgave his captors, and his nightmares ceased. He told his remarkable story all the time. All Rights Reserved. "[16], With Super Man no longer airworthy, the healthy crew members were transferred to Hawaii for reassignment. He served as a bombardier in B-24 Liberators in the Pacific. In those days, athletes had to pay their way to the Olympic trials, but since his father worked for the railroad, Louis could get a train ticket free of charge. Luke: We grew up telling his story to other people that we’d meet. Louis Zamperiniwas born on month day1917, at birth place, New York, to Antonio Zamperini. Copy. For instance, when his life raft was being strafed by the Japanese on Day 27 of his odyssey, he dove overboard to avoid the bullets and ran into two sharks. And he had to fend off the sharks, go up and get air, here comes the airplane back again, go back down, play with the sharks. There’s a purpose in the way this is being told. [24], Later Graham helped Zamperini launch a new career as a Christian evangelist. My dad’s story was miracle, upon miracle, upon miracle. Although, the production was very concerned that the family would be approving of what they were doing. But I know that if he’s watching, looking down today, he’s overjoyed that the second film is being made because that is a huge part of his story and, in many ways, the most, Naomi Watts & Andrew Lincoln: True Story of “Penguin Bloom”, Jennifer Wayne: Granddaughter of Legendary John Wayne, Half Brothers: Luis Gerardo Méndez & Connor Del Rio, Pro Skateboarder to Pastor Jay “Albamy” Haizlip, Nicholas Hoult is J.R.R. The film focused on Zamperini's faith, to which he credited his "unbroken" status. Zamperini finished 8th in the 5,000-meter distance event at that Olympics, in the time of 14 minutes 46.8 seconds, behind Finland's Gunnar Höckert's Olympic record time of 14 minutes 22.2 seconds (world record holder Lehtinen was second, and Zamperini's teammate, Lash, 13th). View Louis Zamperini's Family Tree and History, Ancestry and Genealogy. In May 2011, Zamperini was guest of honor at Magellan Christian Academy’s graduation ceremony with over 700 attendees at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. And so now it’s being told in its own right and I think it’s just incredible. Louis Zamperini and A Victory for Hope. Louis Zamperini representing the Unites States at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin During the Olympics, Zamperini wasn’t a favorite to win the 5,000-meter race and, as expected, he came in eighth. [25] In 1949, at the encouragement of his wife and her Christian friends, Zamperini reluctantly agreed to attend a crusade. So, Lisa and I went up to Forest Home to meet Will a few months before production. Portrait of American former bombardier Lt Louis Zamperini as he poses at home, Los Angeles, California, June 13, 1985. The Zamperini family name was found in the USA, and Canada between 1911 and 1920. In later childhood, his brother Pete was highly supportive of him and encouraged him to start his running career. Louis Zamperini with his wife to be, Cynthia Applewhite, in 1946. The Zamperini Family: Louis with wife Cynthia and their children Luke and Cynthia. RM: Growing up as Zamperini, Louis was just your dad. There have been many movies in which Zamperini was featured, as listed below. Not only is it…, Season of Prayer Guides Filmmaker Alex Kendrick to Tell the Story Written by Kelli Gillespie Many are cautioned about the…, Sinner’s Church: Jay “Albamy” Haizlip Written by Chris Ahrens The smell of marijuana was as common to Jay Haizlip in…, Nicholas Hoult plays J.R.R. [28], In his 90s, Zamperini continued to attend USC football games, and he befriended star quarterback Matt Barkley in 2009. (l to r) Merritt Patterson as Cynthia with her husband Louis Zamperini played by Samuel Hunt in the film Unbroken: Path to Redemption. On one of the hottest days of the year during the 1936 North American heat wave in Randalls Island, New York, the race saw co-favorite Norm Bright and several others collapse during the race. On a search and rescue mission, Zamperini's plane exp… Neither Zamperini nor Lash was believed to have much chance of winning the 1936 Olympics 5,000-meter race against world record holder Lauri Lehtinen. Wikimedia Commons Japanese prison guard Mutsuhiro Watanabe and Louis Zamperini. Lisa Zamperini: I remember sitting in my living room on the phone with him and having a discussion about what was definitely being left out. Zamperini was chased and caught by police for a stolen beer and brought home to his parents who dealt with him. Of course, there was the miracle of surviving the crash, the miracle of surviving forty-seven days on a life raft, but the greatest miracle of all was coming to faith on that day of October 16, 1949. The Bird due to his being a famous Olympic runner. On a search and rescue mission, Zamperini's plane experienced mechanical difficulties and crashed into the ocean. The stories are real, powerful, and oftentimes life altering because they offer hope, truth, faith, redemption and love. In 1941, he was commissioned into the United States Army Air Forces as a lieutenant. Zamperini did not contest the 1,500 meters, but he ran the 5,000 metres. We never get used to it. "[11] By the end of the trip, Zamperini, in common with most athletes on the ship, had gained a good deal of weight: in Zamperini's case, 12 pounds (5 kg). Went with my dad ’ s just incredible and U.S. Army Air Force in September louis zamperini family [ 15 ] earned. 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