R. C. Durr was born in Attwood, Kentucky, and attended school in Kenton County, where he graduated from the last class of Independence High School. His aunt gave him $500 to attend college, but he used the money to buy a car and went to work. He was the successful bidder on his first highway project in 1949 when bids for construction were taken by the mile. This project was Frogtown Road in Boone County. Since that time, the R. C. Durr Company has become one of Kentucky’s largest, most successful heavy construction and highway contractors. The company was responsible for some of the state’s largest railroad, interstate and parkway projects. In 1961 the R. C. Durr Company was awarded the initial contract for construction of a segment of the Eastern Kentucky Turnpike (Mountain Parkway). Mr. Durr also operated a successful coal mining business in Eastern Kentucky for approximately 10 years. As one of the construction industry’s visionaries,
Mr. Durr claims many “firsts.” He built one of the first modern gravel plants in Northern Kentucky. He acquired Eaton Asphalt Company in 1964 and established it as Northern Kentucky’s largest paving construction company. Mr. Durr has served on several boards of directors, including Covington Trust and Banking Company, Fifth Third Bank, and The Bank of Boone County. He was one of the founders of Boone State Bank. Governor John Y. Brown Jr. appointed him to the Kentucky State Racing Commission in 1980 and he served on that Commission until 1992. He has served as president of the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors, Kentucky Chapter of the American Road Builders Association, and Kentucky Highway Division of the Associated General Contractors of America. He served on the Board of the Boone County Water and Sewer District, the Northern Kentucky University Foundation, and was one of the founders of the Northern Kentucky Industrial Foundation at Florence.
He has been a generous supporter and contributor to many schools and various organizations in a very quiet and unassuming way. Mr. Durr enjoys his leisure time raising cattle and thoroughbred horses on his farm. His first wife of 46 years, Katherine Ballinger Durr, died in 1992, and in September 2002, he married Deborah Jo Durr.