Clair Van Norman Langton was born on November 1, 1895 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to Margaret and Robert Langton, and grew up in Michigan. He served with the U.S. Army in El Paso along the Mexican border in 1916 and 1917, and in Europe in 1918 and 1919. From 1922 through 1928 he was captain of the Michigan National Guard Signal Corps. In 1923 he received a B.S. in Education from the University of Michigan. He received a M.S. in Public Health and Hygiene in 1925 and a Doctorate in Public Health in 1928, also from the University of Michigan. From 1923 through 1928 Langton was the Assistant Director of Intramural Athletics at the University of Michigan and taught physical education and hygiene.
Langton came to Oregon State College in 1928 as Director of the Division of Health and Physical Education, and served in that capacity until 1964. Langton received the Doctor of Education degree from the University of Oregon in 1938. He wrote numerous articles for professional journals, authored Orientation in School Health in 1941 and Principles of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1962, and co-authored several other books on health education.
Langton was very active in many national and state professional organizations, as well as the Corvallis Rotary Club. He was a fellow of the American Public Health Association and the American Association for Health Physical Education and Recreation. Langton married Hazel F. Edwards of Detroit, Michigan, on December 26, 1923; they had a son and a daughter. He died on April 19, 1973 in Corvallis. Langton Hall, formerly the Men's Gymnasium, was named for him in July of 1973.
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