Ruth Benson Freeman, 75, an authority on public health nursing and a former Red Cross official, university professor and government consultant, died of Alzheimer's disease Dec. 2 at her home in Cockeysville, Md.

Dr. Freeman was administrator of nursing services at the American Red Cross from 1946 to 1950. She then joined Johns Hopkins University. She retired there in 1971 as professor of public health administration and coordinator of nursing programs.

She was a consultant to the Veterans Administration, the Air Force, the old Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Pan American and World Health organizations.

Dr. Freeman was a past president of the National League for Nursing and the National Health Council. She served on the boards of the National Organization for Public Nursing and the American Public Health Association. She was a committee chairman of the American Nurses Association and a member of the governing council and editorial board of the American Journal of Public Health.

In 1981, she received the Florence Nightingale Medal from the International Council of the Red Cross. She also received awards from the ANA, the National League for Nursing and American Public Health Association.

Dr. Freeman was born in Methuen, Mass. She was a 1927 graduate of the Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in New York City. She earned a bachelor's degree at Columbia University and master's and doctoral degrees in education at New York University.

She taught nursing education at New York University from 1937 to 1941 and then spent five years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota. She lived in Washington for 34 years before moving to Cockeysville in 1980.

Survivors include her husband, Anselm Fisher, of Cockeysville; a daughter, Nancy Smith of Swarthmore, Pa.; three brothers, Russell Freeman of Richmond, and Wilbur and John Freeman, both of Methuen; a half-sister, Jane Wallace, also of Methuen, and four grandchildren.