Langdon was born in Belgium and immigrated to the United States following World War II. She grew up speaking French and Flemish. Her doctoral thesis was a dictionary of the Mesa Grande dialect of Diegueño.
She taught at the University of California at San Diego from 1965 to 1991. Langdon worked with various tribal elders throughout her career on southwestern languages. She compiled the first dictionary of the Mesa Grande language. She was advisor to 17 graduate dissertations in linguistics, addressing such languages as Navajo, Palauan, Mojave, Havasupai, Seri, and others. Among her students at UCSD were linguists Pamela Munro, Leanne Hinton, Cheryl Hinton, Steve Elster, and Loni Langdon.
- "Margaret Langdon; linguist helped write first local Indian dictionary | The San Diego Union-Tribune".
- Langdon, Margaret (1976). Yuman texts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- "Barona Spirits Speak: Newsletter of the Barona Cultural Center and MuseumWinter 2006, Vol. VI, #1" (PDF) VI (#1). Barona Cultural Center and Museum. Winter 2006. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "UC San Diego - Linguistics People - Alumni". linguistics.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
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