Donald Dresden, 72, the restaurant critic of The Washington Post from 1969 to 1976, died Nov. 11 at George Washington University Hospital. He had Parkinson's disease and arteriosclerosis.

A veteran free-lance writer on food and other topics, Mr. Dresden also contributed many magazine articles and book reviews to The Post during his years in Washington. In 1978, he wrote an article for The Washington Post Magazine about learning to live without natural speech after the removal of his larynx because of cancer.

Mr. Dresden, a resident of Washington since 1950, was born in Larimore, N.D. He graduated from the University of North Dakota and earned a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University. In World War II, he was an intelligence officer in the Army Air Forces, rising to the rank of major. He participated in the Allies' landing on Omaha Beach in 1944 and subsequently was decorated by the French government.

In the postwar years, he worked for a time for The New York Times and contributed articles to The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post, Gourmet and other publications. He wrote three books, "Le Chemin de Paris," "Marquis de Mores, Emperor of the Bad Lands" and "Donald Dresden's Guide to Dining Out in Washington."

Survivors include his wife, the former Marta Vejarano, of Washington, and two sons, Christopher V., of San Jose, Calif., and Anthony V., of Washington.