Dr. Conrad Copeland Reining, 66, a retired professor of anthropology at Catholic University, died of cancer Oct. 30 at his home in Washington.

Dr. Reining was born in Copley, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Akron. He earned his doctorate in social anthropology at Oxford University in England. During World War II, he served in the Army in North Africa and in Europe.

From 1952 to 1955, he was a field researcher for the Sudanese government. As a result of his field work in Africa, he wrote "The Zande Scheme: An Anthropological Case Study of Economic Development in Africa."

He taught at the University of Minnesota before moving to Washington in 1959 as head of the African section at the Library of Congress. He was a professor at Catholic University for 17 years before retiring in 1983.

Dr. Reining was a past president of the Anthropological Society of Washington and a former secretary of the American Anthropological Association. He was a past member of the advisory committee to the Commission on International Relations of the National Academy of Sciences. He was the founding president of the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists.

He had been a fellow of the African Studies Association, the Royal Anthropological Association, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. He was a founding member of the East African Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.

Survivors include his wife, Priscilla, of Washington; three children, Robert C. Reining of McLean, Conrad C.S. Reining of Berkeley, Calif., and Anne E. Reining of Washington; and a brother, Henry, of Los Angeles.