Alan L. Schrader, 51, a former official of The Washington Star and the U.S. News & World Report who lived in McLean before joining the Pittsburgh Press in 1977, died Monday in a hospital in Pittsburgh after a heart attack.

Mr. Schrader came to Washington in 1966 as The Star's promotion and public relations director. In the mid-1970s he joined U.S. News & World Report where he was associate director of marketing. He went to the Pittsburgh Press in February 1977, and was its director of promotion and research at the time of his death.

He was a 1980 recipient of the Silver Shovel, the International Newspaper Promotion Association's highest award for contributions to the association, and was a past president of the organization.

Mr. Schrader, a native of Illinois, graduated from the University of Illinois. He served as an Air Force information officer during the Korean War. Before coming to Washington, he was advertising and promotion manager of the Indianapolis Star and News, and promotion manager of the Oklahoma City Times and Daily Oklahoman. He was a past president of the Oklahoma City Press Club.

Survivors include his wife, Beverly, of Pittsburgh; a son, Kent, of Annandale; a daughter, Anne Lussier of Herndon; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Schrader of Champaign, Ill.; two brothers, Richard, of Hinsdale, and Charles, of DeKalb, Ill.; a sister, Marianne Kellerhals of Champaign, and one grandchild.