Milton MacKaye, 77, a former newspaperman and a free-lance magazine writer noted for his profiles of political winter home in Miami, Fla., following an apparent heart attack. He had been a Washington resident since 1941.

He was one of the original reporters on the old Washington Daily News in the early 1920s. He also worked for the the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, the Kansas City (Mo.) Star and the Denver Post. He worked for the old United Press in New York and did a stint as a film script writer for Paramount studios in Hollywood.

Mr. MacKaye began his free-lance career in 1931. One of his first assignments was a profile of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the governor of New York, which appeared in the New Yorker magazine. It discussed FDR's prospects for the presidency and Eleanor Roosevelt used to describe it as "the fairest and the best" article on her husband that she had ever seen.

Over the years, Mr. MacKaye wrote stories on Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D.-Conn.), Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956; the late senator John L. McClellan (D-Ark.), and Robert L. Weaver, secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under president Lyndon B. Johnson. Many appeared in the old Saturday Evening Post. Other magazines for which Mr. MacKaye wrote included the Reader's Digest, Redbook and Scribner's.

During World War II, Mr. MacKaye worked in Washington for the Office of War Information and then for Robert L. Patterson, the undersecretary of war. He later rejoined OWI in London and was in charge of producing a number of foreign language magazines. He accompanied Allied troops in the invasion of Southern France.

His books included "Dramatic Crimes of 1927" and "Tin Box Parade," an expose of corruption in New York. He assisted generals Robert L. Eichelberger and Ernest N. Harmon with their war memoirs.

He had been in failing health since suffering a stroke about 10 years ago.

Mr. MacKaye was born in Redfield, Iowa. He attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. During the 1930s, he lived in Guilford, Conn., and maintained a home there until his death in addition to homes in Washington and Miami.

He was a member of the Cosmos and National Press clubs in Washington and of the Overseas and Players clubs in New York.

Survivors include his wife, the writer Dorothy Cameron Disney, of the homes; a son, William R., of Washington; a sister, Charlotte Douglass, of Colton, Calif., and five grandchildren.