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Will Durant was an American writer, historian, and philosopher best known for his cooperation with his wife on ‘The Story of Civilization.’ After graduating, he worked as a reporter and later as a teacher for several years to support himself, but his life was turned upside down when he fell in love with one of his students at school. He stopped teaching and transferred his concentration to the philosophical concepts surrounding society after they fell in love and married. Following that, he became well-known for his second book, ‘The Story of Philosophy,’ which cemented his reputation as a respected author. Over the course of three decades, the book sold over two million copies and was translated into various languages. But it was in the 1930s that he published his masterpiece, ‘The Story of Civilization,’ which transformed historical literature. It addressed the living situations of ordinary people in the West throughout the past 2500 years. He worked on the books with his wife and provided an informative account of living throughout history. During his career, he also pushed for equal salaries, women’s suffrage, and better working conditions for the American workforce. He was a multi-talented creative genius who not only wrote on a variety of topics but also put his thoughts into action.

Childhood and Adolescence

Joseph Durant and Mary Allard had him on November 5, 1885, in North Adams, Massachusetts. His parents were French-Canadians who had immigrated to the United States as part of the Quebec emigration.
He was educated by Jesuits at the St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1900, and then attended Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey. In 1907, he received his diploma.

Career of Will Durant

After graduating, he worked as a reporter for Arthur Brisbane’s ‘New York Evening Journal,’ where he authored several articles about sexual crimes.
He was hired as a Latin, French, English, and geometry teacher at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, in 1907.

In 1911, he was appointed principal of Ferrer Modern School, where he also taught. He fell in love with one of his students, a female 13 years his junior, and married her later. In 1913, he resigned from his position and began preaching for a few dollars in a Presbyterian church to help support his family.

While working as an instructor at Columbia University, he published his first book, ‘Philosophy and the Social Problem,’ in 1917. It examined the argument that philosophy has stagnated because it avoided confronting society’s real issues.

He released ‘The Story of Philosophy’ in 1926, which became a success and allowed the couple to achieve financial stability.

He wrote ‘Transition’ (1927), ‘The Mansions of Philosophy’ (1929), ‘The Case for India’ (1930), and ‘Adventures in Genius’ in the following years (1931).
He began his most celebrated work, ‘The Story of Civilization,’ in 1935, and it comprised of 11 volumes published over four decades.

During this time, he also produced a number of other literary works, including ‘The Lessons of History’ (1968) and ‘Interpretations of Life’ (1969). (1970).

He released ‘A Dual Autobiography’ in 1977, which chronicles his life with Ariel Durant. It tells the narrative of their incredible love story as well as their professional lives together. Throughout his life, his wife Ariel is acknowledged for making substantial contributions to his novels.

‘Heroes of History: A Brief History of Civilization from Ancient Times to the Dawn of the Modern Age’ (2001), ‘The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time’ (2002), ‘An Invitation to Philosophy: Essays and Talks on the Love of Wisdom’ (2003), and ‘Adventures in Philosophy’ (2004) have all been published posthumously (2008).

Major Projects of Will Durant

‘The Story of Civilization,’ which he co-wrote with his wife, is his most significant contribution. It is often recognized as history’s most effective historiographical series. It is an 11-volume series that covers Western history and was written over a four-decade period. ‘Our Oriental Heritage’ (1935), ‘The Age of Faith’ (1950), ‘The Renaissance’ (1953), ‘The Age of Reason Begins’ (1961), ‘The Age of Voltaire’ (1965), and ‘The Age of Napoleon’ (1967) are just a few of the books (1975).

Achievements & Awards

For ‘Rousseau and Revolution,’ the tenth volume of ‘The Story of Civilization,’ he and his wife received the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1968.
The Durant couple received the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom,’ one of the highest civilian distinctions bestowed by the United States government, in 1977.

Personal History and Legacy

He met his future wife, Chaya (Ida) Kaufman, while working as the administrator and a teacher at the Ferrer Modern School in New York City, where Ida was one of his students.

They married on October 31, 1913, after falling in love. He later nicknamed Ida ‘Ariel’ because she was just 15 years old at the time of their marriage. They had a daughter named Ethel and later adopted a son named Louis.

He died in Los Angeles, California, on November 7, 1981, after learning of the death of his wife, who had died two weeks before. The pair was laid to rest in Los Angeles’ Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Will Durant’s Net Worth

Will is one of the wealthiest novelists and one of the most well-known novelists. Will Durant’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.