Summery of Book:

Louis Zamperini was born in Olean, New York in 1917. In 1919 he moved to Torrance California where he was known for getting into trouble. He made habit of stealing, and getting in fights with other boys. As he grew up, his brother Pete encouraged him to participate in sports to balance his troubles. He excelled in many sports. But his favorite was track. He was great at it. In fact, he was so good at it, that he went on to the Olympics in track. He got eighth in the 1932 Olympics. But  because of WWII, the next Olympics were canceled. Louie was devastated. So he joined the Army as a bomber. On a mission, one of his engines was shut down. He crashed down in the ocean. After 47 days of fighting sharks, and catching Albatross to eat on a raft, he came to Japanese Kwajalein island. The Japanese captured him and made him a Prisoner of War. He was a prisoner of war for 3 years before the war ended. He was rescued by the Americans and taken back to America. Before long he experienced trauma and nightmares about his experiences. He married a woman named Cynthia Applewhite. Cynthia saw how Louis was having trouble. He was drinking and smoking excessively. Cynthia encouraged him to go to a Billy Graham session. There, Louis eyes were opened. He then began to serve God and publicly speak about his experiences. He died in 2014 at age 98.

Why was Louis famous?

Louis Zamperini is famous for being in the Olympics as a teenager for the 5 mile run in 1932. He got eighth, but he had one of the fastest finale laps in history, skyrocketing him to fame. He decided to go back to the 1936 Olympics, but because of the things that were happening in Germany, they were canceled. After this he went to the army as a bomber. On one of his missions he got his plane sunk. He was stranded on a raft for 47 days before he came to Kwajalein Island, or Execution Island. He was a Japanese POW for 3 years until he was rescued by Americans. After rescue he experienced trauma and nightmares. He started drinking and smoking excessively. But he rebounded after a Billy Graham ceremony. He became very athletic again and died at 98.

Louis' Childhood

Louis Zamperini was born in Olean, New York in 1917.  In 1919 he move to Torrance, California. As he left the toddler stage and entered the stage of being a boy, he stole things from many shops and stores and got in fights with other boys. He stole anything imaginable  from stores  He got in trouble with police and citizens of the community. He got in many fights with other boys and almost always came home with bruises. His brother saw no future for him in this state, so encouraged him to participate in sports. After some time, Louis agreed. It turned out that he excelled in many sports, but his favorite was track. He was very good at it. He broke many records, and got first in all of his races. After awhile, he didn't steal, wasn't bullied, and a neighborhood celebrity in track.

Louis' Successes:

Louis Zamperini had many successes throughout his life. They all started when he started running in track.  He was great at track, he broke many records and got first in many races. He even went on to the Olympics! These were major successes through his life. He also was an athlete after his time in the army. He got to run with the Olympic torch, and was still in very good shape up until he died at 98 in 2014. He was a successful motivational speaker, and he had a movie and two books named after him. So in conclusion, Louis Zamperini had many successes in his life.

Louis' Challenges

Louis Zamperini had lots of Obstacles and Challenges in his life. As a child, he didn’t get along well with other boys. Therefore he got in many fights with other boys. He didn’t have many other friends, making his life harder. When he ran, he had to train very hard to win and he had to push and work hard to win and go to the Olympics. When he joined the army as a bomber he had to be very accurate in where he placed the bombs and how he flew. Then, when the plane crashed, he had to work to stay hydrated and fed, by catching albatross, rain water, and sharks to survive. A japan fighter plane saw them and tried to shoot at Louis while he was stranded in a raft. Louis had to go under his the water to avoid being shot at, but under the raft were sharks, so he had to fight them off while he was being shot at. Once he got to an island, it was an Japanese island known as execution island. Somehow he got off the island alive, only to be taken to a POW camp. At the camp, there was an officer named Mutsuhiro Watanabe who would target Louis and specifically punish Louis for things that he wouldn’t do.  After his time being a POW, Louis experienced trauma, and drank heavily. He had nightmares about Mutsuhiro Watanabe, and he hated god for all the troubles that he had. Then his wife, Cynthia Applewhite, told him to go to a Billy Graham ceremony about god. Louis eyes were then opened. He forgave all of his guards back at the POW camps, and became a successful motivational speaker.

Primary Source

In this picture it shows Louis racing at the 1932 olympics. Louis was racing the 5 mile run. Louis got eighth, but had the fastest finale lap in history: 56 seconds! This was record breaking at the time, and an amazing lap. At the olympics, Louis even met Hitler for his skills at the finale lap.

Secondary Source

Unbroken: The movie is my secondary source because it shows what happened in his life but not exactly in the way it happened. It had different actors and events that happened from Louis' actual life.

3 interesting facts

  1. Louis Zamperini got 8th in the Olympics.
  2. He married a woman named Cynthia Applewhite and had 2 children named Cissy and Luke.
  3. At Germany Olympics, he climbed a flagpole and stole a Nazi flag, for a souvenir!

Quote-“A minute of pain is worth a lifetime of misery” - Louis Zamperini

The End

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