Garnett D. (Jack) Horner, 73, a retired White House correspondent of the old Washington Star newspaper, died of cancer Aug. 19 at a nursing home in Jupiter, Fla.

Mr. Horner was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and attended the University of Chattanooga. He began his newspaper career on the Chattanooga News. He later worked for United Press in Atlanta, Birmingham and New York. He moved to Washington in 1936 with the UP and joined The Star a year later. He retired in 1974.

During World War II, Mr. Horner took leave from The Star to work as a State Department press attache in the Mediterranean theater.

As a White House correspondent, he wrote a widely printed story about President Eisenhower's appearance after his heart attack in September 1955. He had an exclusive interview with President Nixon during the 1972 presidential campaign.

Colleagues of Mr. Horner admired the thoroughness with which he covered daily news developments at the White House and the speed and accuracy with which he could dictate stories against the tight afternoon deadlines of The Star. The newspaper closed in 1981.

Mr. Horner was a former president of the White House Correspondents' Association and a member of the National Press Club and the Overseas Writers Club.

He lived in Washington until 1977, when he moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C. He moved to Jupiter a year ago.

Survivors include his wife, Leota, of Jupiter; a stepdaughter, Geraldyne Hampton of West Chester, Pa., and two grandchildren.