Edward R. Place, 76, a public relations executive and former government information specialist, died of cancer Monday at the Woodbine Nursing Home in Alexandria.

He had established his public relations firm, Edward R. Place Associates, in Boston in 1936, but suspended it sactivities several times to work for the government and private industry. It was reactivated here in 1965, and he had operated it since then.

Mr. Place was born in Fall River, Mass. He was a graduate of Brown University, where he was an outstanding athlete and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

He worked for several newspapers including the Boston Globe, where he dwas a fish and game columnist, and handled publicity for several colleges.

During World War II, Mr. Place was an information specialist in the campaigns and media branch of the War Production Board. From 1955 to 1960, he was director of information for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

He also had handled public relations for the Rpublican National Committee and the National Wildlife Federation, representing them on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Place was a founder and charter president of the Sertoma Club of Washington and president for nine years of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Washington.He had been active in the metropolitan Washington Board of Trade and the National Press Club.

He was a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shopd Quartet Singing in America.

He belonged to the Public Relations Society of America and the National Society of Fund Raisers.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, of the home in Arlington; two daughters, Marcia Read, of Arlington, and Betty Lee Pearson, of Reston, and four grandchildren.