Lynd Ward, 80, an author, artist, and book illustrator who moved to the Washington area from New Jersey six years ago, died of Alzheimer's disease June 28 at his home in Reston.

Mr. Ward was born in Chicago. He graduated from Columbia University and studied printmaking in Germany during the 1920s. He produced "woodcut novels" during the Depression years in which only his unique illustrations were used to create a narrative about social and artistic issues.

His most noted work was "The Biggest Bear," a children's book that he wrote and illustrated in 1952. For his efforts, he received the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book of 1952. He also illustrated numerous books written by his wife, May McNeer Ward.

Mr. Ward received many awards and prizes for his artistic ability. Collections of his work are found at the Library of Congress and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He retired for medical reasons in 1979 and moved from Cresskill, N.J. to this area.

He was a director of the National Academy of Design, and had been president of the Society of Graphic Artists. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Printers-Etchers and Engravers.

In addition to his wife, of Reston, survivors include two daughters, Nanda Ward of Reston, and Robin Ward Savage of Great Falls; a brother, Gordon H., of Gwynedd, Pa., and four grandchildren.