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LANGLEY Harold D. Langley Harold D. Langley, diplomatic and naval historian who was Associate Curator of naval history at the Smithsonian Institution from 1969 to 1996, died on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 after an extended illness. He was 95. As a naval historian, he was a pioneer in exploring American naval social and medical history. Born Harold David Langley, the son of Walter B. Langley and Anna Mae McCaffrey and the fourth of six children, he grew up in Amsterdam, NY. Upon his graduation from high school, he was drafted into the Army of the United States and served from 1943 to 1946, receiving, along with his unit, the Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. After his military service, he attended the Catholic University of America (CUA), where he earned his B.A. in 1950. He then earned his M.A. in 1951, and his Ph.D. in 1960, from the University of Pennsylvania, the latter with a dissertation which became his first published book, Social Reform in the United States Navy, 1798-1862. He began his professional career at the Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, in Washington, DC in 1951. After working as a manuscript specialist in Washington and Pennsylvania, in 1955, Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, appointed him Assistant Professor of history. He was next appointed as a Diplomatic Historian in the U.S. Department of State in 1957. In 1964, CUA appointed him Associate Professor, and in 1968 promoted him to Professor, which he held until 1971. In 1969, the Smithsonian appointed him Associate Curator of Naval History. While holding that position, he was also an Adjunct Professor at CUA beginning in 1971. In 1965, he married Patricia Ann Piccola. The couple settled in Arlington, VA and had two children. In 1996, he retired from the Smithsonian, and continued teaching at CUA until 2001. After he retired from teaching, he remained active in the history field, writing articles for historical journals, reviewing books, and working on a book. He also traveled regularly to history conferences in the United States, contributing presentations and helping with others. In 2017, he was diagnosed with dementia and curtailed his travels to conferences. Despite the challenges this condition presented, he continued writing articles and book reviews for historical publications. As his condition progressed, he moved to an assisted living facility in Alexandria, VA in late 2019, where he lived for the remainder of his life. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Sweeney, of Albany, NY; his brother, Roger Langley, of Rockville, MD; his son, David Langley, of Alexandria, VA; his daughter, Erika Langley, of Bremerton, WA; and many nieces, nephews and cousins, along with their families. His wife, Patricia, predeceased him in 2013. The family will receive friends and relatives at a viewing at Advent Funeral and Cremation Services, 7211 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22116 on August 6, 2020 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1910 N. Randolph St., Arlington, VA 22207 on August 7, 2020 at 10:30 a.m., followed by the interment ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery, 18424 Joplin Rd., Triangle, VA 22172, at 1 p.m. More information about Harold D. Langley's life and accomplishments can be found online at www.adventfuneral.com. www.adventfuneral.com.

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Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 2, 2020.
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August 29, 2020
I always had a very special time with Hal when he visited with the members of his vexillological community, especially when he hosted a meeting at the Smithsonian for us and joined me at the White House to talk presidential flags and seals.

It was a great honor to know Hal and work alongside him with his specialized knowledge, quiet humor, and wonderful approachability. All of us in the the North American Vexillological Association and the Chesapeake Bay Flag Association had missed him in recent years and will certainly miss him now. Our hearts are at half staff, but we'll always have wonderful memories of all he shared with us.

Sincere condolences to the family.
Tom Carrier, CBFA and NAVA
August 2, 2020
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