Sam T. Gibson, 83, who directed the national blood bank program of the American Red Cross and retired from a research post at the Food and Drug Administration in 1988, died of congestive heart failure Sept. 20 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Bethesda.

Dr. Gibson joined the Red Cross headquarters staff in Washington in 1949, after doing research in blood and plasma development at Harvard Medical School. He worked in the blood program of the Red Cross for 18 years and taught at George Washington University medical school and the Uniformed Services University.

He was a biologics official at the National Institutes of Health before going to work for the FDA in 1972. He retired there as director of science and technology in the Office of Health Affairs.

Dr. Gibson was a native of Covington, Ga., and a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University Medical School. He did his residencies at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.

He served in the Navy during World War II and later retired as a captain in the reserve. He was a consultant to the Naval Medical School.

Dr. Gibson chaired a committee on transfusion equipment of the American Standards Association and was a contributing editor of a journal on blood transfusion. He was a member of a CARE advisory committee, the International Society of Hematologists, International Society of Blood Transfusion, American Federation of Clinical Research and a number of scientific honorary societies. He also taught Sunday school at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church for 27 years.

His first wife, Alice Chase, died in 1971.

Survivors include his wife of 13 years, Madge Crough Gibson of Bethesda; three daughters from his first marriage, Lena Gibson of Silverton, Colo., Judith Gibson Meador of Dallas and Lucy Gibson Simpson of Tucson; a brother; a sister; and six grandchildren.

A son from his first marriage, Stephen C. Gibson, died in 1994.