William S. Odlin Jr., 82, a former newspaperman with the old Washington Times-Herald who later became top editor at a trucking trade journal, died Oct. 5 at Georgetown University Medical Center in the District of cancer of the esophagus. He lived in Washington his entire life.

Mr. Odlin retired in 1976 as the editor-in-chief of Transport Topics, now located in Alexandria. During his 26 years at the trade paper, Mr. Odlin introduced special sections, focusing on subjects such as safety, management and the latest truck equipment.

After graduating from the old Central High School in the District, Mr. Odlin was a copy boy at The Washington Post in the early 1930s. He spent the rest of the decade as a reporter at the Times-Herald, where his father was a rewrite man and copy editor.

During World War II, Mr. Odlin was in the Army in Europe and North Africa. He rejoined the Times-Herald after the war, and through a family contact, he became a reporter at Transport Topics in 1950.

After retiring, he played golf and wrote occasional articles about trucking issues.

Mr. Odlin was a member of the National Press Club, the Newspaper Guild and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Survivors include his wife since 1942, Aline Odlin, of the District; a daughter, Priscilla Pulliam, of Silver Spring; a son, Terry, of Columbus, Ohio; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.