"... a couple of them weren't young at all; why, that man had to be older than [I am], and wearing an emerald-green cloak! The nerve of him!"
-- thoughts of Vernon Dursley on a strange day in November 1981 (PS1)
Vernon Dursley is the husband of Harry’s Aunt Petunia. Like her, he is very much a Muggle. In fact, he is about as Muggle as a person can get. He has no use for imagination at all. He is a large, beefy man with very little neck and a bushy black moustache. He wears his most boring tie to work and sits at his desk with his back to the window. Vernon Dursley considers it a good morning if he’s yelled at a few people. He is the director of Grunnings, a firm that makes drills. Grunnings is where the Dursleys met is wife, when Petunia left her hometown of Cokeworth and took an office job there (Drsly). After a series of very “dull” dates, she realized how predictable and absolutely normal Vernon was – truly the man of her dreams.
The Dursley residence was at number four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.
For Vernon, it’s all about appearances. He wants nothing more than to be completely normal, thank you very much, although he also wants to be better than everyone else around him, too. He places high regard on things like which kind of car a person drives. In fact, when he gets a new company car himself, he stands out in the driveway with his wife and son exclaiming about how wonderful it is, all in voices loud enough so that the neighbours will hear.
Vernon is competitive and ambitious. His goals in life include selling more drills, buying a vacation home in Majorca, and keeping anything remotely associated with magic away from his home and his family. It is no surprise then, that he refers to his wizard brother-in-law James Potter as “good-for-nothing” (PS1). He and the Potters had nothing in common, and Vernon never really understood that James wasn’t joking about flying on a broom or having a vault full of gold. He continued to think of him as an “amateur magician,” and like Severus Snape, disliked James and Lily’s son Harry for looking so much like his father (Drsly).
If Petunia thinks that magic is “freakish,” Vernon considers it “dangerous nonsense.” He considers Harry something to be ignored, controlled, or locked away; indeed his sister Marge’s dog “Ripper” was treated better than Harry. Whenever Uncle Vernon is reminded how little power he has over Wizarding matters, he becomes unhinged and Petunia often takes over.
Being extremely boring and predictable, while dismissing magic as "codswallop."
The given name Vernon comes from the Eure region of Normandy, deriving from Gaulish vern "alder (tree)" combined with a male suffix (Behind the Name).
The surname Dursley comes from a town in Gloucestershire, England. Rowling chose the name because it sounded "dull and forbidding" (Star-Ledger).
Vernon in the Movies
The role of Vernon Dursley is played by Richard Griffiths (IMDb).
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):
MuggleNet: Podcast 'Potterversity' Episode 5: "Uncle Vernon"
The-Leaky-Cauldron: Why the Dursleys? by WaggaWaggaWerewolf
WizardsandWhatNot (Fansided): Harry Potter and the Order of Archetypes: The Dursleys, the Threshold Guardians by Katie Majka
The Rowling Library, TRL Magazine Issue #48: article on page 9: The Unforgivable Vernon Dursley by Oliver Horton
Harry Potter Wiki: Vernon Dursley
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features: