Jesse B. Manbeck, 81, a printer and proofreader who served eight terms as president of Columbia Typographical Union No. 101 died yesterday at his home in Washington.
He had undergone a series of hospital tests on Tuesday after complaining of general fatigue.
Mr. Manbeck's terms as president totaled slightly more than 15 years, coming intermittently between 1942 and 1967, when he chose not to run for reelection.
Since 1971, he had been vice president of the Union No. 101, which is a local of the International Typographical Union.
From 1938 to 1963, Mr. Manbeck worked in the composing room of The Washington Post, taking periods of leave to serve as union president. Since then he had worked for Byron S. Adams Printing Inc.
Mr. Manbeck came to Washington in 1934 to work for the Government Printing Office, first in the main proof section and then to the patent proof section.
He lost his job a short time later when he protested at a union meeting a proposal by the public printer to spread the 40-hour week over six days instead of five.
Mr. Manbeck, who had joined the ITU in 1916 in Philadelphia, prepared a report on his union leadership in 1967, in which he set forth his accomplishments over his 25-year tenure.
He noted that local 101 had won more than 60 percent of its arbitration cases, won annual raises for the GPO printers and had secured vacations, paid holidays and other fringe benefits for commercial printers.
During those years, he also had attended numerous ITU conventions and was a delegate to the D.C. Central Labor Union, the Allied Printing Trades Council, the D.C. Union Label Council, the Virginia-Carolinas Typographical Conference and the Maryland-D.C. Federation of Labor. He was a registered lobbyist on Capitol Hill for the ITU.
Born in Hummelstown, Pa., Mr. Manbeck spent his childhood there and in Harrisburg. His father was fatally injured in a railroad accident when he was a child.
Mr. Manbeck went to Girard College in Philadelphia, where he learned his trade.
He worked in printing plants and for newspapers in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and New York as a printer and proofreader and then was a sports writer for six years for the New York Times.
While in New York, he was executive director of the Brooklyn Amateur and the Brooklyn Industrial Baseball leagues and for one year was treasurer of the New York City Baseball Federation. At one time he had tried his hand at putting out a sports publication.
Mr. Manbeck had been active in civic organizations here. He was a former executive secretary of the D.C. Central Suffrage Conference, a trustee of the old Community Chest, and had served on Cherry Blossom Festival committees.
He had been on the board of governors of the American Public Relations Association and was active in the Elks and the Moose.
He had served as a vice chairman of the D.C. Crusade for Children and as secretary of the D.C. Society, Sons of the American Revolution.
He is survived by a son, John, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and two grandchildren.