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William Langer
North Dakota

Gov. William Langer

  • December 4, 1933 - July 17, 1934
    January 6, 1937 - January 5, 1939
  • Nonpartisan League (1st), Independent (2nd)
  • September 30, 1886
  • November 8, 1959
  • North Dakota
  • University of North Dakota, Columbia University
  • Married Lydia Cady; four children
  • Senator


WILLIAM LANGER, the seventeenth and twenty-first governor of North Dakota, was born in Everest, Dakota Territory on September 30, 1886. His education was attained at the University of North Dakota, where he earned a law degree in 1906, and then at Columbia University, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1910. Langer first entered politics in 1914, winning election as the state’s attorney for Morton County, a position he held from 1915 to 1917. He also served as the attorney general of North Dakota from 1917 to 1921. Langer next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in the 1931 general election. During his tenure, aid was sanctioned to farmers hurt by the depression. Langer also was charged with soliciting money from state employees, and consequently was removed from office on July 17, 1934. He later was acquitted on all charges. In 1936, he won reelection to his second gubernatorial term. During his final tenure, funding was secured for improving old age pensions and child welfare. After completing his term, Langer won election to the U.S. Senate, an office he held from 1941 until 1959. Governor William Langer passed away on November 8, 1959, and was buried in St. Leo’s Catholic Cemetery in Casselton, North Dakota.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

North Dakota State Government

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress


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