The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company paid tribute to at his high school alma mater on Wednesday afternoon as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program. An audience of 450 attended the ceremony at Royalton (Minn.) High School near Langer’s childhood home. The crowd included students, teachers, the school’s marching band, friends and others.
"There’s something very special about coming home, where it all started for me," Langer shared. “It was a great honor to be here and accept this plaque in the presence of so many friends and community members today.”
Hometown Hall of Famer™ is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
"If you dream big and put in the work, your journey can take you to so many wonderful and unexpected places," Langer commented after being presented with the plaque by Joel Swenson, the school’s Principal. "Playing football for Royalton changed my life. And looking out at this crowd, it’s exciting to think about what comes next for each of you.”
“Ford Motor Company is proud to participate in ’s return to his hometown. Both Ford and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are committed to excellence and have a deep appreciation for legacies,” said John Allen, Sales Business Development Specialist for Ford Motor Company.
Hall of Fame Executive Vice President George Veras added, "For the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this program is about celebrating excellence everywhere by acknowledging the great support Jim had on his road to Canton.”
Wednesday’s event was the 97th Hometown Hall of Famer™ ceremony. An upcoming schedule of ceremonies this spring includes tributes to Ronnie Lott, Fran Tarkenton, Don Shula, Roger Wehrli, Art Monk, and Larry Little.
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Langer was born in Little Falls on May 16, 1948. He attended South Dakota State University and was signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins in 1970. Langer was First-Team All-Pro four consecutive seasons, and All-AFC five straight years. He played in three AFC title games, three Super Bowls, and six Pro Bowls. He is known for being a hard-working, quick, low-driving blocker and is considered one of the greatest NFL centers of all time. After finishing his career with the Minnesota Vikings (1980-81), Langer was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.