Leo Patrick Cullinance, 71, a former White House correspondent and Washington public relations man, died Wednesday of a coronary thrombosis while visiting at the home of a friend in Potomac. He lived in Washington.

Joining the staff of the old New York Herald Tribune in 1929, he covered the White House during the New Deal Days of the Roosevelt administration. He also wrote for the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines.

While serving as a war correspondent in the South Pacific during World War II, Mr. Cullinane wrote sketches of some of this country's top military men, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adms. Chester W. Nlmitz and William F. Halsey.

After the war, Mr. Cullinane returned to Washington and the White House beat, remaining with the New York Herald Tribune into the 1950s. He then worked for several congressional committees and for such members of Congress as Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Wright Patman (D-Tex.)

In the mid-1950s, he was employed by several public relations firms here. His clients included airline and distillery officials and film industry leaders. About 15 years ago, he bought land in Montgomery County and set up his sons in the real estate business.

Mr. Cullinane had collaborated with a number of authors on such books as "Half Way with Roosevelt," "This Man Truman," "Our Times," By Vote of the People" and "Volcanic Isle."

Born in Washington, he was a graduate of St. John's College High School and Catholic University.

He had been a member of the National Press Club for 50 years.

He is survived by his wife, Lucia, of the home in Washington; five sons, Leo Patrick Jr., and Robert R., both of Washington, Anthony J., of Chevy Chase, Eugene J., of Alexandria, and Michael T., of Harpers Ferry, and 11 grandchildren.