|"You just don't stop living because you lose someone."|
|— Darry to Ponyboy in The Outsiders, page 173|
Darrel "Darry" Shaynne Curtis Jr. is the oldest of the three Curtis brothers, and the man of the house ever since their parents died. Darrel is now the mother and father of his two brothers.
Darry is a large man, of 6' 2" and he is broad shouldered. His hair is said to be like his father's- dark brown that sticks out in the front of his head with a cowlick in the back. His eyes "are like two pieces of pale blue-green ice." He is said to look exactly like his father, but with different eyes. Also, he looks older than his actual age, which is twenty. Ponyboy says he would be better looking if his eyes weren't so cold. 
Darry is, in short, a mother and father for his younger brothers. He loves them dearly, though has a bit of a weird way of showing it. Instead of being caring and understanding, he is stern and protective of them. However, this is only because he doesn't want to lose them to a boy's home.
He doesn't goof around often, though has been seen teasing Soda on occasion.
Ponyboy describes him as a young man who grew up too fast and as someone handling things no one his age should have to.
Darry is very intelligent and athletic. He wants Ponyboy to grow up well and go to college since that is an opportunity he and Soda, the middle brother, missed out on. He wishes that he could go back to college but won't because of financial problems and because he won't leave his younger brothers.