William Theodore Tarrant Jr., 60, a retired official of the Central Intelligence Agency and a special magistrate of Fairfax County, died at Commonwealth Doctors Hospital Friday following a heart attack.

Mr. Tarrant was born in Washington. He was educated at Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tofts University, and at the George Washington University law school.

He served in the Navy in World War II and won the Bronze Star Medal as a combat intelligence officer in the Pacific. He joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947.

Mr. Tarrant's duties with the CIA included assignments in Libya, the Phillipines, Egypt, and Vietnam as well as in Washington. He retired in 1973.

At the time of his death, he was a special magistrate of Fairfax County Special magistrates are judicial officers who are empowered to conduct hearings on bonds, search warrants and similar matters. Mr. Tarrant was a member of the bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Survivors include his wife, Muriel Hughes Tarrant, of the home in Annandale, a son, William Theodore Ill, of Charlottesville, Va.; a daughter, Mrs. Douglas Burroughs, of Fairfax; two sisters, Mrs. Richard Schumm and Mrs. Clyde Bourke, both of Annapolis, and an aunt, Elizabeth Gibson, of Washington.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association or to Commonwealth Doctors Hospital in Fairfax.