Joseph F. Heiberger, 78, a photographer and picture editor who retired in 1980 after 26 years with The Washington Post following 16 years at the Washington Times-Herald, died of a heart attack Nov. 24 at his home in Annapolis.

He was a native of Washington and a graduate of Gonzaga College High School. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II as a combat photographer in the Pacific.

Mr. Heiberger began his career in 1938, with the Washington Times-Herald, which was later acquired by The Post.

At the Times-Herald, he helped teach aspiring photographer Jacqueline Bouvier how to use a Graflex camera. She worked for the paper before marrying John F. Kennedy, then a senator from Massachusetts.

At The Post, he specialized in color photography. He won awards for his photos from the White House News Photographers Association. He was a member of that organization and the Newspaper Guild, Fenwick Island Yacht Club and Ocean City Golf and Yacht Club.

His wife of 52 years, Marjorie Harper Heiberger, died in 1997.

Survivors include three children, Richard J. Heiberger of Edgewater, M. Patricia Heiberger of Annapolis and Joann H. Sigler of Atlanta; two brothers, Henry B. Heiberger of Texas and John J. Heiberger of Rockville; a sister, Mary Anselmo of Silver Spring; and three grandchildren.