Jack H. Bryan, 78, who retired in 1969 as information director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, died May 26 in his home in Brentwood, Calif., after a heart attack.

Mr. Bryan came to Washington in 1939 to work as an information specialist with old Public Works Administration. He joined the Farm Security Administration in 1940 and became information director of that agency two years later.

He worked for the National Housing Agency and the Public Housing Administration before becoming information director of the Housing and Home Finance Agency in 1947. He held the same post with HHFA's successor agencies, including HUD.

Mr. Bryan was a native of Evansville, Ind., and a 1924 graduate of DePaul University in Greencastle, Ind. He earned a master's degree in English at Harvard University three years later.

He spent two years in China as secretary to a Methodist bishop, then worked as a writer, editor, and critic for newspapers in Tennessee before coming to Washington.

He worked as a feature editor for the "Journal of Housing," a publication of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, in Washington before moving to California in 1976.

Mr. Bryan was a member of the National Press Club.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia, of Brentwood; a son, Keith, of Ann Arbor, Mich., and a brother, Gordon, of Washington.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Park Association in Washingtion.