Alexander Campbell, author, editor and foreign correspondent whose career in journalism spanned four decades and included newspaper and magazine service on four continents, died Thursday of cancer at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He was 64.

At the time of his death, Mr. Campbell was an international affairs writer for U.S. News & World Report. It was an assignment to which he brought a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in India. Africa, the Far East and the Middle East.

From 1964 to 1970, Mr. Campbell was managing editor of The New Republic, and seversl former collegaues said, he helped increase that magazine's inflence.

Author James Ridgeway, who worked under Mr. Campbell at The New Republic, yesterday said Mr. Campbell was "a very knowledgeable and considerate editor and person. He was a tremedous help to me."

Senior editor John Osborne, who writes the magazine's "White House Watch" column, called Mr. Campbell "a first-rate writer and editor. He had a knack of editing your story in a way that shaped it better without really disturbing you words."

Osborne had known Mr. Campbell since the 1950s, when both worked for Times Magazine.

Mr. Cambell began his career in his native Scotland as an editorial writer at the Scotsman in Edinburgh, which he joined in 1934 after he graduated from the University of Edinburgh.

In 1937, he joined in 1934 after he graduated from the University of Edinburgh.

In 1937, he moved to South Africa where he worked for the East London Daily Dispatch and the Johannesburg Star. He became editor of the Star in 1942.

Mr. Campbell joined Time-Life in 1950, and during the next 11 years headed the magazines' bureaus in Arica, India, Japan-Korea and the Middle East.In 1961, he became Washington correspondent for The Economist of London.

Mr. Campbell joined The New Republic three years later, leaving in 1970 to join the editorial board of the Toronto Daily Star. He returned to Washington in 1973.

Mr. Campbell wrote several books, including "The Heart of India," which award in 1959, "The Heart of Africa," "The Heart of Japan" and "Unbind Your Sons: the Capitivity of America in Asia."

He won the Sigma Delta Chi award in 1954 for outstanding accomplishment as a foreign correspondent.

Mr. Campbell is survived by his wife, Jane, of the home at 3001 Veazey Ter. NW; two sons Morgan, of Fraser Lake, British Columbia, and Kenneth, of Hamilton, Ont.; a daughter, Lesley Ann, of Hawaii, and five grandchildren.