Vivian Elma Johnson Cook, 88, a Baltimore civic leader and the first black woman to serve as principal of a public high school in Baltimore, died Thursday of a heart attack at Provident Hospital in Baltimore.

Mrs. Cook and the late Vashti T. Murphy founded the Philomatheans Club in the 1930s. The club has been an organ of cultural and intellectual stimulation for black women.

She also helped organize the graduation chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Baltimore, which is active in the community and educational activities.

Mrs. Cook was an active member of the board of the Baltimore Urban League and was president of the cooperative Women's Civil League. She was vice president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and chairwoman of the Human Relations Committee of the National Association of College Women.

A graduate of Howard University, where she received a B.S. in Biology in 1912. Mrs. Cook earned her M.A. in education from Columbia University Teachers College in New York. She also taught for a year under Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute.

She is survived by two nephews.

The family requests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Endowment Fund of the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria.