Aldo Beckman, 45, a prize-winning reporter and chief of the Chicago Tribune's Washington Bureau since 1976 died of cancer Tuesday at his Arlington home.

A national correspondent for the Tribune here since 1965, Mr. Beckman also was the Tribune's White House correspondent from 1970 to 1976.

He received several journalism awards for his reporting during those years, including the 1975 Merriman Smith Memorial Fund Award for his coverage of Sarah Jane Moore's assassination attempt on President Ford.

He twice received the Tribune's Beck Journalism Award, the first time for his exclusive report in 1966 that former Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman had advised Democratic congressional candidates to "duck" questions on consumer prices.

In 1972, he won the Beck Award for his coverage of President Nixon's historic visit to China.

A past president of the White House Correspondents Association, Mr. Beckman was respected both by his colleagues and those he covered, including Presidents Ford and Carter.

At a recent dinner held in his honor, a handwritten note from President Carter was read which said in part, "Rosalynn and I want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Your reputation through this city and the government is first-rate and deserved."

Mr. Beckman was born in Lima, Ill., and graduated from Western Illinois University in 1956. He served in the Army for two years and worked at the Chicago bureau of United Press International before joining the Tribune in 1959 as a court reporter.

He was a member of the Gridiron and the International Clubs here.

Survivors include his wife, the former Marijo Walsh; four daughters, Theresa, Patricia, Jennifer and Mary Kathryn, and a son, Eugene, all of Arlington.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.