Edward E. Slattery Jr., 73, retired director of information with the National Transportation Safety Board and a former director of press relations with the Civil Aeronautics Board, died at Providence Hospital Oct. 28 after a heart attack. He lived in Fort Washington.

Mr. Slattery was born in Boston. He was stricken with a leg disability in his youth. He received the equivalent of a college education through private tutors.

He moved to Washington in 1937 and worked for the Works Project Administration.

Mr. Slattery joined the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1942 as chief of press relations. He later became the CAB safety information officer. He was a pilot and in the early days of his career he often used CAB aircraft to fly himself to accident scenes.

Mr. Slattery joined the NTSB when the agency was organized in 1967. He retired in 1980.

He served on the board of the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit organization supported by airlines, and other private and government agencies.

He was a member of the National Press Club, the Aviation Space Writers Association, and the National Aviation Club, where he also had served on the board. He was a past president of the Aero Club of Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Joanna, of Fort Washington; and two brothers, David, of Key West, Fla., and Francis, of Bradenton, Fla.