Esther Strong, 79, a sociology professor, who worked for the government as a personnel specialist and intelligence officer, died Wednesday in a Dillon, S.C., motel following a heart attack.

She had been driving from her home in Winter Park, Fla., to Plainfield, N.J., since she planned to visit [WORD ILLEGIBLE]

Dr. Strong worked as a coordinator of the counselling for the Navy Department during World War II. She then taught sociology at New York University before returning here in 1949, to become women's representative on the staff of the Personnel Policy Board in the Department of Defence.

She counseled women in the armed-forces and those holding civilian posts at the Pentagon.

She also served as dean of women and taught sociology at American University during the 1940s and 1950s, and helped establish a work-study program for women employes of the Navy at American University.

Dr. Strong later worked as an intelligence specialist with the State Department, then joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1961. She retired in the late 1960s.

She was a native of Plainfield, and a 1922 graduate of Vassar College. She earned master's and doctoral degrees in sociology at Yale University.

She first came to Washington before World War II, and was a Yale fellow at the Brookings Institution, and then served on the staff of the old Federal Security Agency.

There are no immediate survivors.