Will Durant: William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, to French-Canadian Catholic parents Joseph Durant and Mary Allard. He Graduated in 1907. In 1911, he left the seminary. He became the principal of Ferrer Modern School. In 1913, he resigned from his post as a teacher. To support themselves, he began lecturing in a Presbyterian church, the materials for the lectures became the starting point for the story of civilization. In 1933, he published the Tragedy of Russia. He fought for equal wages, women's suffrage and farrier working conditions for the American labor force. Durant was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1968 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.