Pearl A. Kipnis, 72, who helped found the Atlas Employment Agency in Washington 40 years ago and who remained active in the firm until last summer, died of cancer Sunday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Kipnis was born in Lithuania and came to the United States with her family in 1911. She lived in Stamford, N.Y., until 1922, when she moved to Washington. She was a graduate of the old Business High School. At one point in her career she was the secretary of W. M. Kiplinger, the founder of the Kiplinger Letters.

In 1940, Mrs. Kipnis and her husband, Benjamin, founded Atlas and she was an officer, a director and a personnel consultant in the company. She was known professionally as "Mrs. Kane." The business remains in her family.

Mrs. Kipnis, who lived in Silver Spring, was a member of the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Washington, the Pioneer Women and various Masonic organizations.

In addition to her husband, of Silver Spring, Mrs. Kipnis's survivors include three daughters, Delores Ebert of Potomac, Myra Zeleznik of Stamford, Conn., and Irene Rosenbloom of Potomac; a son, J. Allen of Gaithersburg; a sister, Ruth Dann of Silver Spring; three brothers. Morris Atkin of Washington, Sidney Atkin of Rockville, and Harry Atkin of Silver Spring; a step-brother, Joe Sherr, also of Silver Spring, and 12 grandchildren.