In the obituary yesterday of Florence K. Kirlin, a retired State Department official who died Saturday, her age was incorrect. Miss Kirlin was 83. (Published 7/29/87)

Jim Bishop, 79, a former syndicated newspaper columnist and author of 21 books, including the best-sellers "The Day Lincoln Was Shot" and "The Day Kennedy Was Shot," died of respiratory failure July 26 at his home in Delray Beach, Fla.

"The Day Lincoln Was Shot," published in 1955, combined history and a novelist's sense of drama in a detailed account of Lincoln's assassination. He worked on the book for 24 years. It sold more than 3 million copies and was translated into 16 languages.

The book pioneered a format Mr. Bishop repeated in "The Day Christ Was Born" in 1960, "A Day in the Life of President Kennedy" in 1964, "The Day Kennedy Was Shot" in 1968, and in later books about presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

His other books included "The Mark Hellinger Story," 1952; "The Making of a Priest," 1954; "The Day Christ Died," 1957; "Jim Bishop, Reporter," 1965; "A Day in the Life of President Johnson," 1967; "The Day Kennedy Was Shot," 1968; "The Days of Martin Luther King Jr.," 1971; "FDR's Last Year," 1974; "Birth of the United States," 1976, and "A Bishop's Confession," 1980.

A columnist for King Features Syndicate, Mr. Bishop wrote the thrice-weekly "Jim Bishop: Reporter" for 27 years until his retirement in 1983. At its peak it was carried by more than 200 newspapers. Mr. Bishop said he liked "lean little sentences" and referred to his newspaper work as "a glassy, superficial style and a seasoned touch for saying a lot in a few words." He closed his last column with these words: "I walk into the shadows temporarily."

Mr. Bishop was born in Jersey City, N.J. He started his journalism career in 1929 as a copy boy at the New York Daily News and became a reporter for the New York Daily Mirror a year later. From 1932 to 1934, he was an assistant to columnist Mark Hellinger.

He was a rewrite man and feature writer at the Daily Mirror from 1934 to 1943. He was associate editor at Colliers magazine in 1943 and the magazine's war editor until the end of World War II. He was executive editor of Liberty magazine from 1945 to 1947.

Survivors include his wife and four daughters.

DR. ROBERT S. HIGDON,

77, a retired colonel in the Army Medical Corps who later served 17 years as chairman of the department of dermatology at George Washington University Medical Center, died of congestive heart failure July 26 at Anne Arundel General Hospital.

Dr. Higdon, a resident of Annapolis, was born in Brookhaven, Miss., and graduated from Mississippi's Millsaps College. He received a medical degree from Tulane University and joined the Army Medical Corps in 1937. During World War II, he commanded a medical battalion in Europe after the Normandy invasion.

After the war, Dr. Higdon was chief of dermatology at Letterman Army Hospital in California, at the U.S. Army Hospital in Tokyo and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was commandant of MacDonald Army Hospital at Fort Eustis, Va., before his retirement as a colonel in 1961.

His military decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the French Croix de Guerre.

After his retirement from the Army, Dr. Higdon moved to Washington and became chairman of the department of dermatology at GWU Medical Center. He was a recipient of the medical students' Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching; he had been a professor emeritus of dermatology since his retirement in 1978.

He also had been a consultant at Children's Hospital, D.C. General Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital, and had written extensively about dermatology. He was a former president of the San Francisco and the D.C. Dermatological Societies.

Survivors include his wife, Durelle F. Higdon of Annapolis; two sons, Robert E. Higdon of Washington and Don F. Higdon of Annapolis, and four grandchildren.

FLORENCE K. KIRLIN,

93, a retired State Department official who in 1955 was named acting assistant secretary of state for congressional relations, died of heart ailments July 25 at her home in Washington.

Miss Kirlin was the first woman at State to hold the rank of assistant secretary. She joined the department in 1946, and made her career there in economic and trade matters and congressional relations. She was an acting assistant secretary for several months in late 1955 and early 1956. She retired in 1965.

A native of Kendallville, Ind., Miss Kirlin graduated from Indiana University. She held several government jobs in Indiana before moving to Washington in 1934 as congressional secretary of the National League of Women Voters.

In 1944 and 1945, she was director of personnel research for the U.N. Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. She then joined the State Department.

She was a member of the Woman's National Democratic Club.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

R. WADE PEARSON,

72, the vice president of the Northern Virginia division of Neighborhood Theaters Inc., operators of movie theaters in the Washington area, died of cancer July 26 at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Pearson, who lived in Arlington, was a director of the National Association of Theater Owners and a past president of its Metropolitan Washington chapter. He also was a past president of the Arlington Rotary Club and the Washington Golf and Country Club and was a national vice president of the Variety Club.

A native of Richmond, he went to work for NTI as an usher when he moved to the Washington area in 1933. He became a director of the company in the late 1960s and a vice president in 1971. NTI recently was purchased by Plitt Theaters of Canada.

Mr. Pearson bred and raced thoroughbred horses and was a member of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

His marriage to Leota Pearson ended in divorce.

Survivors include one daughter, Jocelyn Pearson of Arlington, and one sister, Judy Pearson Harris of Silver Spring.

WILLIAM SCHOLL WHITEHEAD,

80, a former financial and management consultant who retired in 1974 as chairman of the U.S. Renegotiation Board, died of cardiac arrest July 26 at the Mount Vernon nursing home in Alexandria. He lived in Alexandria.

Mr. Whitehead was born in Denver and attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He was an investment banker and stockbroker in New York City before moving here about 1935.

He worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Price Administration. In 1952, he helped found the Ives-Whitehead consulting concern. He was its president when it closed in 1969. Later that year, he was appointed to the Renegotiation Board and became its chairman in 1973. He retired the following year.

Mr. Whitehead served with the Army during World War II and retired from the Reserves in 1967 with the rank of colonel. His decorations included the Legion of Merit.

He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Arlington.

Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy Childs of Alexandria; one son, William Jr., of Fairfax; one sister, Sara Jane Thomas of Scottsdale, Ariz., and one grandchild.

MARIE E. HARGY,

98, a clerk with the American Legion National Rehabilitation Commission for 23 years before retiring in 1956, died of respiratory failure July 21 at the Brooke Grove nursing home in Olney where she had lived for the past three years.

She was a former member of the national executive committee of the American Legion Auxiliary; in 1932, she edited its "Eight and Forty" national bulletin. She was a life member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 217 in College Park.

Mrs. Hargy was a native of Laurel and a 1906 graduate of Laurel High School. She lived in Panama for about 15 years before returning here in 1930. She lived in College Park from 1933 until she entered the nursing home.

She was a member of the Sodality of St. Jerome's Catholic Church in Hyattsville, the Catholic Daughters of America and the Woman's Club of College Park.

Her marriage to Francis F. Hargy ended in divorce.

Survivors include one son, Francis R. Hargy of Fort Myers, Fla.; one daughter, Phoebe Kuck of Silver Spring; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

LUBOV STOWELL,

75, who worked for the Library of Congress for 25 years before retiring in 1975 as a senior research analyst, died of cancer July 26 at her home in Washington.

Mrs. Stowell, who had lived in the Washington area since 1935, was a native of Russia. She came to this country in 1922 and lived in New York City before moving here. She had sung professionally both here and in New York City.

Her marriage to Prince Dimitri Wolkonsky ended in divorce.

Survivors include her husband, retired Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Stowell of Washington; three children by her first marriage, Elizabeth Wheeler of Boston and Nathalie Zick and Nicholas Wolkonsky, both of California; two brothers, Boris Doubiago of Indiana and Serge Doubiago of New York City, and one grandchild.