LOS ANGELES (AP) Louis Zamperini, an Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. He was 97.
Zamperini's death was confirmed by Universal Pictures studio spokesman Michael Moses. A family statement released early Thursday said Zamperini had been suffering from pneumonia.
He is the subject of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," which is being made into a movie directed by Angelina Jolie and is scheduled for a December release by Universal.
"After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives," the family statement said. "His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days."
Rest in peace .