Lester Knox Little, 89, a former deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency who served as head of the Chinese Maritime Customs in Chungking, China, from 1943 to 1950, died Tuesday at the Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor, Vt., following a stroke.

A former Washington resident, he had lived in Plainfield, N.H., since the mid-1960s.

Mr. Little was born in Pawtucket, R.I., and earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College. He went to China after earning a master's degree from Brown University in 1921. In 1950, he was awarded the Order of the Brilliant Star from the government of China in Taiwan.

He then came to Washington to serve as deputy director of the USIA. He also was chief of the customs mission at the headquarters of the Supreme Commander for Allied Powers in Japan and a customs consultant to the Philipping government.

In the mid-1940s, Mr. Little worked for the Office of Strategic Services here.

He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Cosmos Club.

Mr. Little's first wife, the former Elizabeth King Falls Freeman, died in 1938.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth Stoddard Little of Plainfield; two children by his first marriage, John W. II, of Water Mill, N.Y., and Elizabeth Shippee of Greenwich, Conn.; a brother, Arthur f., of Pawtucket; nine grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren.