Leopoldo Duran was born in Penedo (Ourense), Spain, in 1917. He received ordination into the priesthood in 1943 in Astorga. He also earned several doctorates in theology from the pontifical university, the Angelicum in Rome; in English Literature from King’s College, London University; and in Philosophy and Letters from Complutense University in Madrid.
Duran resided in England for almost thirty years, during which he worked on a doctoral dissertation at King’s College, focusing on Graham Greene and the priesthood, published in 1971. Two years later, Greene contacted him for lunch at the Ritz in London which began a friendship lasting eighteen years.
Over a decade beginning in 1976, Duran and Greene embarked on a series of annual holidays through Spain ranging from retreats to Oseira Monastery, visits to the grave of Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (1864-1936), but primarily to vineyards where they sampled the wines. The experiences and conversations from these travels have been considered influential in the creation of Greene’s novel Monsignor Quixote (1982).
Along with published works on Greene’s novels , including The Power and the Glory, Duran captured his friendship with Greene in his book Graham Greene: Friend and Brother (1994). He attended Greene’s deathbed in 1991, where he took the latter’s final confession.
Duran died in Vigo, on April 10, 2008.