Durward was born in Uniondale, Indiana, on October 11, 1910. He was the son of Harley and Jennie M. LaTurner Allen. He married Dorothy Ellen Helling on September 23, 1935. His children are Stephen R., Harley W., and Susan E. He married Suzanne Grieser when he was 76 years old.
He received an AB degree at the University of Michigan, 1932; PhD degree at Michigan State College, 1937; LHD honorary degree from Northern Michigan University in 1971; and a DA honorary degree from Purdue University in 1985.
Durward was a game research biologist with the Michigan Department of Conservation from 1935 to 1946; a wildlife research biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, from 1946 to 1950; and assistant chief of wildlife research U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., from 1951 to 1954.
He was a professor of wildlife ecology and natural resources at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, from 1954 until 1976, when he became a professor emeritus. He served on many committees in the Department of Interior and at various universities. He became an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University in 1982.
He is the author of Michigan Fox Squirrel Management (1943), Pheasants Afield (1953), Our Wildlife Legacy (1954, 1962), The Life of Prairies and Plains (1967), and Wolves of Minong (1979, 1993). He was editor of Pheasants In North America (1956) and Land Use and Wildlife Resources (1970).
Durward was the recipient of an honor award from the Anglers’ Club of NewYork in 1956. He was inducted into the Michigan Conservation Hall of Fame of the United Conservation Clubs in 1985. He was named Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana Government, 1983, and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a member of The Wildlife Society, served as its president from 1956 to 1957 and became an honorary life member. He received the Annual Technical Publication award in 1946, the Annual Conservation Education Award 1955, and the Leopold Memorial Medal in 1968. He was a member of the American Society of Mammalogists, Ecological Society of America, American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the American Forestry Association (Board of Directors, 1983-88).
He served actively with the George Wright Society, Wilderness Society, Outdoor Writers Association of America (Jade of Chiefs award, 1968; honorary life member), Nature Conservancy, Conservation Foundation, National Parks and Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation (annual science award, 1985), Indiana Academy of Sciences (named lecturer of year, 1968), National Audubon Society (Board of Directors, 1975-84, Audubon Medal, 1990), George Bird Grinnell Society (charter member), Boone and Crockett Club (emeritus), Cosmos Club, and Explorers Club. He was elected to Sigma Xi, Phi Sigma, Xi Sigma Pi, and Seminariam Botanicum.
Durward believed humanity emerged from the natural order and must continue to survive as a part of it. He further believed that professionals in any way concerned with the earth relationships of man have a prior obligation to serve generations of the future equally with those of the present. Durward died on October 17, 1997.
Durward was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1950.