Louis Zamperini was born in 1917 to loving Italian immigrants in New York. At the age of two, his family moved to California. Louie had two older sisters and an older brother and mentor, Pete. Since he spoke no English, he was an easy target for bullies. As a child, he was infamous for beating up kids, smoking and drinking at a young age, stealing, running away, and never listening to his parents.
When Louie found out his house key worked on his school gym, he and a few friends decided to start sneaking into games. The principal, police, and his parents were at their breaking point. Louie's punishment? No school sports his freshman year in high school. Louie nearly laughed - he never did anything like that anyway! His older brother Pete,
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He set up a huge tent, and Cynthia, curious at the fuss the town was making, went. When she came home one night, Louie was drunk as usual, but he noticed a change in her. She had accepted Christ into her heart and wanted Louie to come with her to meet Billy Graham. Louie bluntly refused. His nightmares continued to get worse, and Cynthia would not stop asking Louie to come. Desperate not to end his marraige, Louie finally went. "What kind of life are you living? Are you satisfied with your