Retired Army Col. Frank Earl Mason, 86, for 14 years a vice president of the National Broadcasting Co. and a former president of the old International News Service, died Sunday at his home in Leesburg after a heart attack.
From 1928 to 1931, Col, Mason was general manager and president of INS, which later merged with United Press. He was a vice president at NBC from 1931 until 1945.
He was a special assistant to the secretary of the Navy during World War II. During World War I, he was an Army intelligence officer with the 9th Infantry in France and a military observer in Paris.
In the 1920s, he was an INS correspondent in Berlin, London and Paris.
Col. Mason was a friend of President Herbert Hoover and executor of the late president's will. In 1946, as a member of the Hoover European Mission, he accompanied Mr. Hoover to 38 countries on his survey of the world food situation. He also was a member of the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution.
He was born in Milwaukee and graduated from Ohio State University. Col. Mason's decorations included the Purple Heart, the Croix de Guerre from France, and the Officer Crown from Romania.
His wife, Ellen, died several years ago.
Survivors inlcude a sister, Mrs. Neville T. Kirk, of Annapolis.