Joseph Bruce Gorman, 45, a specialist in U.S. government at the Congressional Research Service and an authority on political parties and presidential elections, died of cancer Nov. 30 at George Washington University Hospital.

Dr. Gorman, a resident of Alexandria, had been with Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, since 1972. He first moved to the Washington area in the early 1960s and he taught at Fort Hunt High School in Fairfax County from 1963 to 1966.

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Dr. Gorman graduated from the University of Tennessee where he also earned a master's degree in history. In 1970 he received a doctorate in history from Harvard. His doctoral dissertation, a political biography of the late Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-Tenn.), was published in 1971 by the Oxford University Press.

Dr. Gorman was active in parent-teacher associations in Alexandria, Democratic Party politics, the League of Women Voters and the fund-raising drive for the restoration of Mount Vernon.

He is survived by his wife, Bette Stubbs Gorman, and two daughters, Elizabeth Ann and Jennifer Alice, all of Alexandria; his father, James D. Gorman of Knoxville; and three sisters, Billie Waldrop of Knoxville, and Jimmie Renfro and Johnny Hall, both of Atlanta.