Langer, William

Langer, William

(1886–1959) governor, U.S. senator; born in Everest, N.D. A lawyer and Republican attorney general (1916–20) he enforced prohibition laws in North Dakota. Elected governor in 1933, he was removed in 1934 for soliciting funds from state employees, but was cleared and reelected (1937–39). Serving in the U.S. Senate (1941–59), he supported social welfare legislation but he opposed American involvement in World War II, the Marshall Plan, and U.S. membership in the United Nations.

Langer, William (Leonard)

(1896–1977) historian; born in Boston, Mass. After taking his B.A. from Harvard (1915) and service with a poison-gas unit in World War I, he took his Ph.D. from Harvard (1922). (Between 1921–42 he was married to Susanne Knauth Langer, the well-known philosopher.) After teaching at Clark University (1923–27), he spent the rest of his career on the Harvard faculty (1927–64), becoming one of the nation's leading authorities on European diplomatic history, military history, and U.S. foreign policy. During World War II he worked with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) (1942–45)—for which he received the Medal of Merit—and in peacetime he served as an adviser to several governmental agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the State Department, and the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. The author of many scholarly works, he was widely known as the editor of An Encyclopedia of World History (numerous editions since 1940) and of the Rise of Modern Europe series.
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