Louis Zamperini

" A minute of pain is worth a lifetime of glory".


-Born on January 26th, 1917 in Olean, New York

-Died on July 2nd, 2014

-Wife: Cynthia Applewhite

-Daughter: Cissy Zamperini

-Son: Luke Zamperini

-Mother: Louise Dossi

-Father: Anthony Zamperini

-Brother: Pete Zamperini

-Sister: Sylvia Zamperini

-Sister: Virginia Zamperini

-Occupation: Writer, Track and Field Athlete, (War Veteran)

Coming of Age

Thesis Statement: Louis Zamperini's hope and courage allowed him to become the Torrance Tornado and made him famous by surviving 47 days on a raft and living through the cruel measures of a Japanese war camp.

"Louie" Zamperini never ceased to get involved in some kind of trouble as a child. His parents were immigrants from Italy, so he was a minor, and other children made sure he knew it. They would find him and beat him up, just so the could feel superior to him. "You could beat him to death," said Sylvia, his sister, "and he wouldn't say ouch or cry. He just put his hands in front of his face and took it".

Louie also stole food items and alcohol. He would run to a hiding place and drink, eat, and curse. The police found him every time, and he got caught every time, but he still never learned his lesson. That is, until his brother introduced him to running and made his little brother believe in himself.

Pete was Louie's older brother. He was fed up with Louie's act and Louie's self-pity, so, he took the gift of his younger brother's constant running from authorities, and put it to use. He had Louie try out for the track team. At first, Louie didn't make it, but when they were leaving, he told Louie that he need to put his heart into it, and that surely inspired Louie. It was so inspiring, Louie became the Torrance Tornado and qualified to go to the Olympics as a teenager. Sadly, the war was coming, and he needed to rain-check the Olympics to go serve, where he would get stranded on a raft for 47 days with two other soldiers, where one would die, and survive through the brutality of a Japanese war camp, at the mercy of their enemies, until the war was over. As Zamperini said, "To persevere is important to everybody. Don't give up, don't give in. There is always an answer to everything".


Louis becoming runner really helped him get into a better place and to stop making bad choices. Everybody was happy about that, even Louis! It also really helped him to have faith and make it out of the Japanese war camp alive.

Louis's brother's encouragement really helped him to shape up and make something of himself, which is a relief for all of us. His parents and other siblings really helped by that no matter what Louis did, the still loved him and didn't throw him out.

Zamperini, over anybody, deserves to be famous for his bravery, courage, and his incredible strength. Nobody can bounce back like he did, and run the extra mile just to show it.

Louis Zamperini Interview

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Primary Source

In order to go to the Olympics, each competitor needs to fill out a pass to be eligible to compete. Here is the one Zamperini had filled out.

Works Cited

"Discover Torrance Partners with Zamperini Family to Support Victory Boys Camp."
PRWeb. N.p., 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 8 Apr. 2015.

Hillenbrand, Lauren. Unbroken. U.S.: Random, 2010. Print

"Louis Zamperini Biography." Biography.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.

Unbroken. Perf. Jack O'Connell. Dir. Angelina Jolie. Screenplay by Joel Coen,
Ethan Coen, William Nicholson, and Richard LaGravenese. Universal Pictures,
2014. Film.