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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNorth Dakota

William LANGER

(1886-1959)
Senate Years of Service:
1941-1959
Party:
Republican

LANGER, William, a Senator from North Dakota; born on a farm in Everest Township, near Casselton, Cass County, N.Dak., September 30, 1886; attended the rural schools; graduated from the law department of the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks in 1906 and from Columbia University, New York City in 1910; admitted to the bar in 1911 and began practice in Mandan, N.Dak.; State’s attorney of Morton County, N.Dak., 1914-1916; moved to Bismarck, N.Dak., in 1916 and continued the practice of law; attorney general of North Dakota 1916-1920; legal adviser for Council of Defense during the First World War; unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1920; Governor of North Dakota January 1933 to July 1934, when he was removed by the State supreme court; again Governor 1937-1939; unsuccessful candidate for nomination for United States Senator in 1938; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1940; though there was an attempt to block his seating, Langer took his seat in the Senate in 1941; reelected in 1946, 1952, and again in 1958, and served from January 3, 1941, until his death in Washington, D.C., November 8, 1959; chairman, Committee on the Post Office and Civil Service (Eightieth Congress), Committee on the Judiciary (Eighty-third Congress); lay in state in the Senate chamber November 10, 1959; interment in St. Leo’s Catholic Cemetery, Casselton, N.Dak.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Barber, Charles M. “A Diamond in the Rough: William Langer Reexamined.” North Dakota History 64 (Fall 1998): 2-18; Smith, Glenn H. Langer of North Dakota: A Study in Isolationism, 1940-1959. New York: Garland Press, 1979.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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