R.I.P., Louis Zamperini


He shook Hitler's hand at the 1936 Olympics, survived a B-24 crash, spent 47 days at sea in an open lifeboat, and made it off Japan's notorious "Execution Island" P.O.W. camp. He nearly starved to death, and took nearly two years worth of beatings from Japanese camp wardens, including many from Mutsuhiro Watanabe, one of Japan's most notorious war criminals. And when he finally stopped drinking after the war, sobered up, and made it back to Japan, he met his captors and hugged each one by one. In 1988 at the age of 81, he ran with the Olympic torch past the camps where he was held as a P.O.W. Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book Unbroken and one of the most extraordinary Americans around, died today at the age of 97, and it's hard to pick out what may be more remarkable about his life: what he survived, or what he forgave.