Susanne Knauth was the daughter of parents who emigrated from Germany to the USA and settled eventually in Manhattan's Upper West Side. They spoke German at home and Susanne never quite lost her German accent. She learned to play the piano and cello; later on, music had also a central role in her philosophical system. After graduating from Radcliffe College, Susanne studied at the University of Vienna for a year. She then returned to Radcliffe and earned a Ph.D. In 1921, she married William L. Langer, a professor of history at Harvard. The couple had had two sons; eventually they divorced in 1942. From 1927 to 1942, Susanne Langer was a tutor in philosophy at Radcliffe. After working as an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Delaware, she became a lecturer at Columbia University. She was also a visiting professor at New York University, Northwestern University, and others. In 1954 she was appointed professor of philosophy at Connecticut College. In 1961 she became professor emerita and research scholar in philosophy. Susanne K. Langer was one of the first women to achieve an academic career in philosophy and the first to be popularly and professionally recognized. Her book Philosophy in a New Key (1942) became a best-seller. Feeling and Form (1953) developed further the ideas of Philosophy in a New Key, and expanded her system of aesthetics from music to the other fields of arts, painting, poetry, and dance.