Alfred E. Smith, 82, a retired information officer at the Labor Department who also was a founder of the old Federal Council on Negro Affairs, a group that sought to widen opportunities for blacks in government in the 1930s, died of renal failure May 26 at George Washington University Hospital.
Mr. Smith began his federal service with the old Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. He worked to have blacks included in programs such as the WPA writers and artists projects and to see that blacks working in federally funded undertakings received the same pay as whites. He also worked to give blacks access to government offices and cafeterias.
Mr. Smith remained with the WPA until it was disbanded at the end of 1942. He then became Washington bureau manager of the Chicago Defender newspaper, for which he had been writing a column while working for the WPA.
In 1951, he became an information officer with the Defense Department. He later joined the Labor Department, where he retired in 1974.
Mr. Smith was born in Hot Springs, Ark. He moved to Washington in 1929 and graduated from Howard University, where he also earned a master's degree in history.
Mr. Smith was a member of St. Paul's Rock Creek Episcopal Church and a founder of the Capital Press Club.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Lula Smith of Washington.