Herman Edelsberg, 77, retired director of the International Council of B'nai B'rith and a former executive director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, died of cardiorespiratory arrest Oct. 30 at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Edelsberg, a resident of Washington, retired in 1977 after 10 years as director of B'nai B'rith's International Council. In that capacity he was responsible for directing and coordinating the activities of B'nai B'rith affiliates in 41 countries outside the United States in the elimination of racial and religious discrimination, improvement of human rights and promotion of peaceful international relations.

He was executive director of the EEOC from 1965 to 1967.

During the 1950s and early 1960s he was director of the Washington office of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

Mr. Edelsberg was born in New York City, graduated from the old City College of New York and from Brooklyn Law School.

He came to Washington during the early 1940s and during World War II worked for the old Board of Economic Warfare and the Office of Price Administration. Later he was counsel and staff director of the Senate subcommittee on foreign trade and counsel to the Senate Committee on War Contracts. During his retirement he wrote his memoirs, "Not for Myself Alone."

Mr. Edelsberg is survived by his wife, Sophie Edelsberg of Washington; one son, John, of Sterling, Mass.; two daughters, Susan Edelsberg of San Francisco and Judy Solman of Brookline, Mass., and three grandchildren.