Study Guide

Unbroken Epilogue

By Laura Hillenbrand


  • Louie opens up the Victory Boys Camp to help juvenile delinquents.
  • Later in life, Louie receives tons of awards and honors, has places named after him, and carries the Olympic torch in five different Games.
  • He hikes and skateboards in his seventies.
  • Everyone loves him.
  • Phil becomes Allen again, and he lives a generally happy life with Cecy and their two children.
  • He's often recognized as "that guy who was with Louie during the war," but manages to live free of resentment toward Louie.
  • Allen dies in 1998 of diabetes and heart disease.
  • Bill Harris stays with the marines and disappears in Korea in 1950. No one knows what happened to him.
  • Louie's brother, Pete, marries a woman named Doris and assembles a scrapbook of Louie's life.
  • Pete dies in 2008. Cynthia dies in 2001.
  • In 1996, Louie gets a call from Draggan Mihailovich, a CBS producer—in preparation for the 1998 Winter Olympics, he wants to do a profile on Louie, who will be running the torch past Naoetsu.
  • But Mihailovich has a startling revelation: "The Bird is alive" (Epilogue.30).
  • He'd been in hiding for seven years, only to resurface when the arrest order for war criminals was lifted. He's married and has two kids.
  • In 1995, at seventy-seven years old, Watanabe speaks to a reporter at the London Daily Mail. He apologizes, and says that former prisoners can come beat him if they want to.
  • Although he doesn't want to beat him, Louie does want to meet him.
  • In 1997, CBS producers meet with Watanabe, saying they have a message from Louie Zamperini. He agrees to an interview, but this time seems a lot less remorseful about the beatings he dealt out at the camp.
  • When Louie goes to Japan to carry the torch, he carries with him a letter to Watanabe. In the letter, he tells the Bird that he stripped him of his rights and his dignity, but that he has forgiven him.
  • Watanabe refuses to meet Louie.
  • Louie sends the letter, but if Watanabe receives it, he never replies.
  • Watanabe dies in 2003.
  • In 1998, Louie carries the Olympic torch past Naoetsu, "through the place where cages had once held him" (Epilogue.84).
  • But the cages are gone, and Louie is simply an "old and joyful man, running" (Epilogue.84).