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Will Durant

William James Durant (1885-1981) was philosopher and writer. Born in North Adams, Massachusetts. He had fought for equal wages, womenís suffrage and fairer working conditions for the American labor force. Durant wrote about subjects and put his ideas into effect. Durantís attempted to bring philosophy to the common man. He wrote The Story of Philosophy, The Mansions of Philosophy, and The Story of Civilization. He also wrote magazine articles. He tried to improve understanding viewpoints of human beings and to have others forgive foibles and human waywardness.

In 1905, he became a Socialist. In 1900, he entered St. Peter's Academy and College in Jersey City. He graduated in 1907. He worked as a reporter for Arthur Brisbane's New York Evening Journal for ten dollars a week. He wrote about sex criminals at the paper.

In 1907, he began teaching Latin, French, English and geometry in Seton Hall College, South Orange, New Jersey. Durant was made librarian at the college.

In 1911 he left the Seminary. He became the teacher and chief pupil of the Ferrer Modern School. It was an experiment in libertarian education. Alden Freeman sponsored him for a tour of Europe. At the school, he fell in love with a pupil, Ariel.

In 1913, he resigned his post as teacher and supported himself and married her. He began lecturing for five and ten-dollar fees. Alden Freeman paid his tuition for the graduate schools of Columbia University.

He had one daughter, Ethel.

In 1917, working on a doctorate in philosophy, Will Durant wrote his first book, Philosophy and the Social Problem. He discussed the idea that philosophy had not grown because it avoided the actual problems of society. He received his degree in 1917. He was an instructor at Columbia University, but he was dismissed from his post.

He begun lecturing on the history of philosophy, literature, science, music, and art. In 1921, he formed Labor Temple School. It was to conduct adult education.

He retired from teaching and began work on the five volume history of civilization. Durant drafted a civil rights "Declaration of Interdependence" in the early 1940s, before the Civil Rights Movement by a few decades. This Declaration was introduced into the Congressional Record on October 1, 1945.

At the age of 96, he went into the hospital and died shortly afterwards. He was buried beside his wife in a Los Angeles cemetery.

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