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Author and historian

Ariel Durant was born Ada (or Ida) Kaufman in Prosurov, Russia, on May 10, 1898. She moved to the United States as a child, and attended the Ferrer Modern School in New York.

At the age of 15, she fell in love with and married one of the teachers at Ferrer, Will Durant, 13 years her senior. Her husband always referred to her as Ariel, and she eventually adopted the name legally.

In 1927, Will Durant stopped teaching and the couple began working on a monumental history of Western civilization. As part of their research, the couple toured Europe several times and travelled around the world twice. Based on their research and their travels, Will and Ariel Durant wrote the eleven volumes of The Story of Civilization over the next forty years. Will was named as the sole author of the first six volumes, while the last five are credited to both of them.

Ariel Durant died in Los Angeles, California on October 25, 1981. She was 83 years old. Will Durant survived her by only twelve days.


Sources:
biographical notes from The Story of Civilization
Encyclopedia Britannica online

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