(Carlo Allegri / AP) (Carlo Allegri/AP)

“It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”

— Actress Angelina Jolie on the recent death of 97-year-old Louis Zamperini, War World II veteran and former Olympian, on Thursday. Jolie directed the big screen version of Zamperini’s incredible life story.  The film, “Unbroken,” is based on the best-selling book of the same name.

Zamperini finished 8th in the 5,000-meter race at the 1936 Berlin Olympics attended by Adolf Hitler. During the war, his plane was shot down and he survived for 47 days on a life raft without food or water. He then spent two years as a prisoner of war in Japan. In a joint interview with Tom Brokaw in February, Jolie said of Zamperini’s story, “[It’s] such a huge responsibility to get it right because I love him so much and because he’s helped me so much in my life.”

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