Historian, Philosopher. Born in North Adams, Massachusetts. he was a devout Catholic, and attended the St. Peter's Academy and College in Jersey City, New Jersey. Upon graduation he was urged by his teachers to become a Jesuit priest, but he discovered a love of philosophy and science which set him on a different path and ended his relationship with the Catholic Church. His first job was as reporter for the New York Daily Standard. Becoming disturbed by the subject matter he was asked to report (sex crimes), he left the paper and took a job teaching Latin, French, English and geometry in Seton Hall College. He eventually became a librarian at the college and would develop a lifelong passion for the philosophy of Spinoza. After a time he returned to New York were he took a job at the Ferrer Modern School, an experiment in libertarian education. There he met his wife, Ariel, who became his partner in many endeavors. The pair would later win the Pulitzer Prize and the Congressional Medal of Freedom. After receiving a doctorate in philosophy, he taught at Columbia and eventually started his own school called the Labor Temple School. He gained notoriety as a lecturer and his lectures were published as a series of pamphlets. These pamphlets were later collected in a book,The Story of Philosophy, which became an international bestseller. The royalties from this book ensured that he would be able to retire from teaching to spend his time completing his masterwork, The Story of Civilization. While he allowed himself to be distracted by other projects, he spent nearly fifty years writing this work and produced no less than 11 volumes, finishing the later ones with the assistance of his wife. Durant stated that he wanted to bring philosophy back to the common man. For years he worked at putting his ideas into effect fighting for equal wages, women’s suffrage, racial equality, and fairer working conditions for the American labor force.
Bio by: Catharine