Jerry Landauer, 49, an award-winning investigative reporter with The Wall Street Journal in Washington since 1962, died Friday at George Washington University Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Landauer, who began his Washington career in journalism with The Washington Post in 1956, and concentrated on exposing illegal or questionable activities at all levels of government and business. After leaving The Post in 1960, he covered the Senate for United Press International before joining The Wall Street Journal.

He wrote extensively about judicial ethics, corporate bribery, corporate exploitation of the handicapped, travel expense vouchers and voting records of congressmen and campaign financing.

In 1964, Mr. Landauer received an award from Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalism society, for his outstanding work as a Washington correspondent. That same year, he received the Raymond Clapper Memorial Award for "his enterprising disclosure of how federal judges have accepted jobs as directors of corporations, banks and insurance companies; which resulted in reform by the Judicial Conference of the United States."

In 1974, he won the Drew Pearson Prize for investigative reporting and the Worth Bingham Memorial Prize for his revelation on Aug. 7, 1973, that the Justice Department was investigating then-vice presidet Spiro Agnew in connection with bribes and fradulent tax returns. Agnew resigned on Oct. 10, 1973, after pleading no contest to one count of tax evasion.

Laurence G. O'Donnel, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, said of Mr. Landauer yesterday:

"Jerry Landauer was a reporter in a class by himself. He understood better than most that leaders who violate their public trust profoundly threaten a free society, so he dedicated his life to ferreting out significant wrongdoing by leaders in government, business and other public institutions. His diligent, painstaking digigng and sense of fairness characterized all of his reporting."

Mr. landauer was born in Rexinger, Germany, a town near Stuttgart. He grew up in New York City. he graduated from Columbia College, where he was editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He spent a year studying German politics at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin.

Before coming to Washington, Mr. Landauer was a copy boy and desk clerk at the New York Times and a news writer for its radio station.

He is survived by his mother, Meta Landauer, of New York.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Jerry Landauer Scholarship Fund in care of Columbia College, Broadway and 116th Street, New York, N.Y. 10027.