William S. Tyson, a former solicitor of the Labor Department and then a lawyer in private pratice specializing in labor law, died Monday at Doctor's Hospital in Washington after a heart attack.

Mr. Tyson joined the Labor Department as a lawyer in 1939, and became assistant solicitor in 1943. He became the department's solicitor - or general counsel - in 1945, and held the post until 1953.

He then had a private law practice in Washington, specializing in labor and compensation law. He retired in 1974.

Mr. Tyson was a native of Greenville, N.C., and a graduate of the University of North Carolina and its law school.

He was a prosecutor in Pitt County, N.C., and then an attorney for the Federal Land Bank at Columbia, S.C., before coming here.

Mr. Tyson was a founding member of the Federal Bar Association. He was a member of the University Club and a Scottish Rite Mason.

He is survived by his wife, Mary W., of the home in Rockville; two sons, Preston, of Tantalion, Md., and William S. Jr., of Upper Marlboro; a daughter, Ann T. Storey, of Winter Park, Fla., and six grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Diabetes Association.