FOR THE RECORD
July 14, 4:20 p.m.: An earlier version of this post described "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" as a novel. It is a biography.
A standout track-and-field star at USC, Zamperini competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where he was the top U.S. finisher in the 5,000-meter race.
He retired from running during World War II and joined the U.S. armed forces. While serving as a bombardier on a reconnaissance mission, his aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean. He survived 47 days on an inflatable raft in shark-infested waters until being captured by the Japanese.