Born in Albany, Georgia, Del. Van Landingham has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Political Science from Emory University and participated in the Washington Semester at American University. She has additional education in journalism and the fine arts. She worked in university public relations at Emory University, Georgia Tech, and as an information specialist for the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Communicable Disease Center and the National Air Pollution Agency (prior to EPA). She then worked as press aide/speech writer for Congressman Phil Landrum (D-GA), before staffing the Alexandria Bicentennial Commission. She proposed the establishment of the Torpedo Factory Art Center as a Bicentennial project, and became its first Director in 1974, serving in that capacity for five years before resigning to run for public office. In 1980 she organized the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau and was its first director until she was elected Delegate. Her present occupation is professional artist with a studio in the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
For her work in founding the Torpedo Factory, she has received numerous awards, including Washingtonian of the Year in 1974, and the Governor's Award for the Arts in 1979.
2003 Legislator of the Year Award, Va. Superintendents of Schools
Legislative Hero Award, Va. League of Conservation Voters in 2000 & 2003
2002 William E. Cole Award, a state-wide honor for her work with the Arlandria Health Center for Women & Children
2003 Ann Brownson Award, state-wide honor from the Va. Association of Museums
Va. Transit Association Delegate of the Year, 2001
Governor's Award for Anti-Drug Efforts, 1992
Legislator Advocate of the Year by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, 1992
Virginia Citizens Consumer Council Distinguished Consumer Service Award, 1996
Warren Stambaugh Award for work in mental health, 1996
Whitman-Walker Clinic of Northern Virginia Public Service Award, 1996
Virginians with Disabilities and Centers of Independent Living Award, 1997
Northern Virginia Coalition of Non-Profit Human Service Agencies "Oasis Award" for Outstanding Achievement, Sustained Initiative and Service on Behalf of Disadvantaged Residents of Northern Virginia, 1998
Community Builders Award from the Alexandria-Washington Lodge of the Masons, 1998
Community Transportation Association of Virginia Leadership Award, 1998
Two books published by the Alexandria Bicentennial Commission,
Composite History of Alexandria, Volume 1
, Co-Editor, 1975;
To Wit, Intentional, and Unintentional
, Co-Author, 1974.
On Target, The History of the Torpedo Factory Art Center The First 25 Years
, 1999, Author, published by the Torpedo Factory Artists Association.