OLEAN, N.Y. — A western New York community plans to honor a native son whose story is the subject of an Angelina Jolie-directed film being released in December.
Louis Zamperini was born in January 1917 in the city of Olean (OH'-lee-an), on the Pennsylvania border 60 miles south of Buffalo. He was just two years old when his parents moved the family to Southern California, where the 97-year-old Zamperini still lives.
He was a world-class Olympian distance runner in the 1930s. During World War II, Zamperini survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese POW camps.
His story was told in "Unbroken," Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 best-seller.
A group in Olean is raising funds to place a granite marker in Zamperini's honor in War Veterans Park in August.