'Unbroken' War Hero Dies at 97

Louis Zamperini, the World War II prisoner of war and former Olympic distance runner, has passed away at the age of 97. Zamperini was the subject of Lauren Hillenbrand's best-selling book Unbroken. His family says he battled for 40 days against pneumonia before succumbing. "Leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives, his indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days,” the family said. Zamperini was the youngest-ever American Olympic qualifier for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where he placed eighth in the 5,000 meters. His final lap of 56 seconds, however, got him a one-on-one meeting with Adolf Hitler. Zamperini then enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941. After his plane crashed, he spent 74 days on a raft before being captured by the Japanese navy. Zamperini was imprisoned for two-and-a-half-years as an unofficial POW (and even declared killed in action by the U.S.). A movie adaptation of the book, directed by Angelina Jolie, will hit theaters on Christmas Day.