- Joan Shelley Rubin
Durant, Will (05 November 1885–07 November 1981), and Ariel Durant (10 May 1898–25 October 1981), America's foremost popularizers of history and philosophy. , were among America’s foremost popularizers of history and philosophy. William James Durant was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Durant, a celluloid plant supervisor, and Marie Allors. His parents, who were French Canadians and devout Catholics, hoped that he would become a priest. After living in several New England mill towns, the family moved in 1892 to Kearny, New Jersey, and about six years later settled in Arlington. In 1900 Durant entered St. Peter’s College, a Jesuit institution in Jersey City. There he completed high school and in 1907 earned his undergraduate degree. In this period, encounters with the theories of Darwin shook Durant’s faith, and adolescent flirtations tested his suitability for the priesthood. He tried a brief stint as a cub reporter for the ...