"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.""It is good a philosopher should remind himself, now and then, that he is a particle pontificating on infinity.""The conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it."
Durant was born in Proskurov (now Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine) as Chaya Kaufman to Ethel Appel Kaufman and Joseph Kaufman. The family emigrated to the United States in 1901. She met her future husband, Will Durant, while a student at Ferrer Modern School in New York. Will was a teacher at the school at the time, but resigned his post in order to marry Ariel. She was fifteen at the time of the wedding.
Ariel and Will Durant were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1968 for Rousseau and Revolution, the tenth volume of The Story of Civilization. In 1977 they were presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Gerald Ford and Ariel was nominated as "Woman of the Year" by the city of Los Angeles. The Durants' autobiography A Dual Autobiography was published in 1978. ISBN 0-671-23078-6
Ariel Durant and her husband are buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.