Louis Azrael, 79, a newspaperman and the author of a column that appeared in Baltimore newspapers from 1927 until a few weeks ago, died Dec. 21 at his home in Baltimore. He had cancer.

Mr. Azrael began his column for the old Baltimore Daily Post, a Scripps-Howard newspaper. After 1934, it appeared in what is now the Baltimore News-American.

For many years, it was featured six days a week and was called "Day by Day With Louis Azrael." About a decade ago, he changed the name to "Louis Azrael Says." In recent years, Mr. Azrael gradually reduced his production to two columns a week. His last piece appeared on Dec. 1.

The future dean of Baltimore newsmen was born in Russia and grew up in Portsmouth, Va. He began his journalistic career in 1920 as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun.

He left shortly after that to work as a reporter with the Baltimore News. He later joined the Baltimore Daily Post, where he became an associate editor, an editorial writer, a columnist and a political writer.

In 1934, the Post was purchased by the Hearst Corporation and merged into the Baltimore News-Post and Sunday American.

Mr. Azrael was a familiar figure at the Maryland Statehouse and Baltimore City Hall. He covered the landing of the 29th Infantry Division, made up of Maryland National Guard units, on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

He is survived by his wife, Sara Lamport Azrael of Baltimore; a daughter, Alice Azrael Paul of San Francisco, and three brothers, Edward, Samuel and Maurice Azrael, and a sister, Mrs. Joseph Colvin, all of Baltimore.