Durbin was born in Bideford, Devon on 1 March 1906, and was drowned in a bathing accident in Cornwall on 3 September 1948. The son of a Baptist minister, he was educated at Taunton School before obtaining a scholarship to New College, Oxford, in 1924. There, he attended the influential ‘Cole group’ and became friends with Hugh gaitskell. He took his first degree in zoology, but then took a second degree, obtaining a first-class honours degree in PPE (politics, philosophy and economics), and won a Ricardo Fellowship at University College, London, before his appointment as an economics lecturer at the London School of Economics in 1930.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.