Edward B. "Ned" Curran, 71, a former newspaperman who since 1983 was an associate editor of a U.S. Health and Human Services publication called Public Health Reports, died of complications from lung cancer Nov. 29 at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital. He lived in Vienna.

From 1966 to 1972, he owned and operated the old Vienna Advertiser weekly newspaper with his wife. He also ran unsuccessfully for the Vienna Town Council in 1966 and 1967.

Mr. Curran, who was born in New York, was a 1951 English literature graduate of Fordham University.

He spent a decade as a reporter in California, Illinois and Oklahoma before moving to the Washington area in 1961 as a correspondent for the Carpenter news service.

He later was Washington correspondent for the Tulsa World.

During the next eight years, Mr. Curran was director of congressional relations for the Appalachian Regional Commission, a speechwriter for former Commerce secretary Maurice Stans and press secretary to Margaret M. Heckler, former Republican congresswoman from Massachusetts.

He was a Customs Service public affairs officer from 1975 to 1983.

Mr. Curran was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Vienna, and his hobbies included playing softball, football and running track.

His marriage to Corinne Curran ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Bobbye A. Curran, of Vienna; a son from the second marriage, Bruce H., of Sterling; two daughters from the second marriage, Beth Warren of Roanoke and Carol J. Layman of Locust Grove, Va.; a sister; five grandchildren; and one great-grandson.