The Info List - Will Lang Jr.

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William John "Will" Lang Jr. (October 7, 1914 – January 21, 1968) was an American journalist and a bureau head for Life magazine.


1 Early career 2 World War II 3 Post-war 4 References 5 External links

Early career[edit] Lang was born on the south side of Chicago. While attending the University of Chicago
in 1936, he wrote for the Chicago
Daily News and "campus stories" for Time on a part-time basis. Six months later, he was summoned to New York City
New York City
to work for Time and Life on a regular basis. In both 1936 and 1940 he covered the Presidential campaigns of James Farley. While in Washington D.C., Lang met an old classmate, Kay Meyer (who later became Katharine Graham) of The Washington Post
The Washington Post
and Newsweek. The two dated for a while, but broke off the relationship due to conflicting interests. In December 1940, Lang had an opportunity to get an interview with Massachusetts
Congressman George Tinkham
George Tinkham
who showed Lang his trophies from his safaris in Kenya. World War II[edit]

Will Lang Jr.
Will Lang Jr.
in Italy

During World War II, Lang became Bureau Head in Algiers, Italy, Paris, and Berlin. He also became friends with Bill Mauldin, Ernie Pyle, George Silk, John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
and Robert Capa. During the war, he wrote many biographies, including those of Lucian Truscott, Bill Mauldin, J. Elmer Spyglass, Creighton Abrams, and Canadian manufacturer Ludger Dionne. Lang was the first American reporter in Tunis
after the Battle of the Kasserine Pass. Later that same year, he followed the battle campaign of General George S. Patton
George S. Patton
in Sicily. On October 7, 1943, Lang was nearly killed in the Naples post office explosion. Later that month, He was commended by General Matthew B. Ridgway
Matthew B. Ridgway
for his professionalism during his stay with the 82nd Airborne Division. After D-Day, he had lunch with Mary Welsh Hemingway, the 4th wife of Ernest Hemingway. Later on, he filed a report on The Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
alongside Col. Creighton Abrams, in which Abrams later mentioned in an article of Stars and Stripes. Post-war[edit] After the war, Lang continued his reporting in Europe
and wrote reports on the rebuilding of Berlin
and the fall of The Iron Curtain. During this time, in January 1948, his daughter Luisa was born. The Lang family's happiness was cut short in June when they heard of the Berlin
Blockade. Lang was able to smuggle his family into France before the borders were closed. In March 1950, one of his stories reported on the discovery of the coffins of German President Paul Von Hindenburg
Paul Von Hindenburg
and his wife, alongside Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I of Prussia
and Frederick the Great, in a salt mine in Germany. When Lang returned to the United States
United States
in May 1950, he became Bureau Head in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1952, he wrote about John F. Kennedy becoming Senator of Massachusetts. From 1954-1960, he served as Bureau Head in Washington, D.C.. After becoming Bureau Head in Paris
in 1960, Lang traveled to Spain
to help his old friend Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
publish The Dangerous Summer. Hemingway called it an addendum to Death in the Afternoon (1938). Hemingway persuaded Lang to let him print the manuscript, along with a picture layout, before it came out in hardcover. Although not a word of it was on paper, Hemingway agreed to the proposal. The first part of story appeared in Life on September 5, 1960 and was followed by two more installments. In 1961 while in Berlin, Lang witnessed the construction of the Berlin Wall. When he returned home in 1961, he was promoted to Deputy Regional Bureau Director of Life. In February 1963, he was promoted to Chief Bureau Head of Domestic and Foreign Departments for Washington, D.C.'s Life branch. On June 26, 1963, Lang returned to Berlin
for a few days and witnessed John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. In January 1965, he was promoted to Chief Regional Bureau Director for Life in Manhattan.[citation needed]

Will Lang Jr.
Will Lang Jr.
and his wife Louise and his daughter Luisa in Austria

Lang died from a heart attack while on a skiing trip with his family in St. Anton, Austria. His body was taken to Salzburg
where it was cremated. References[edit]

External links[edit]

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