Lucius Herbert Henegan Jr., 77, a retired public affairs officer with the old U.S. Information Agency, died Tuesday at Providence Hospital of respiratory complications following surgery.

He retired from USIA, now the International Communication Agency, in 1965 after 11 years there. His first four years were spent in India.

Mr. Henegan came to Washington in 1942 as press officer in the Farmers Home Administration of the Agriculture Department. He helped inform disadvantaged farmers of loans available to buy land and equipment.

He was born in Paris, Tex., and studied at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. There he played cornet in the college orchestra with Jimmie Lunceford, who became a well known band leader. Mr. Henegan performed with several bands before switching from music to journalism.

One of the first black newspapermen to be formally trained in journalism, he graduated from the school of journalism at the University of Colorado in 1930. The university later honored him as an outstanding graduate.

Mr. Henegan was editor of the Memphis World and then held editorial positions with the Omaha Guide, the Kansas City Call and the Baltimore Afro-American newspapers before joining the federal government.

He was elected president of the Capital Press Club here in 1948.

His wife, Anna Smith Henegan, died here in 1967. There are no immediate survivors.