Gifford Dean Hampshire, 80, who for many years was a magazine editor and writer in the Washington area, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 30 at his Fairfax home.
Mr. Hampshire moved to the area in 1954 as an assistant illustrations editor for National Geographic. He later worked for Al Hayat, a magazine produced for the Arabic-speaking world by the U.S. Information Agency. He also worked as a writer and editor for the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Hampshire was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where his father was principal of the junior high school until he lost his job during the Depression. While his father looked for work in the 1930s, Mr. Hampshire lived with uncles who were wheat farmers in western Kansas and Oklahoma, in the center of the Dust Bowl. Photographs of that era, commissioned by Roy Stryker of the Farm Security Administration, would later inspire Mr. Hampshire's work as a photo editor.
Mr. Hampshire graduated from high school in Liberal, Kan., and was drafted into the Army Air Forces in June 1943. He saw combat in the southwestern Pacific with the 868th Heavy Bomb Squadron of the 13th Army Air Force. He was wounded over the Celebes Islands, now known as Sulawesi, when his lone B-24 was attacked by Japanese "Oscars" aircraft. He finished the war on Okinawa, flying with his crew until the armistice.
Mr. Hampshire then enrolled in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, graduating in 1949. He started his journalism career with Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp. in Syosset, N.Y., where he launched Impressions, a quarterly magazine for photojournalists. Later, he was the company's manager of press relations and director of corporate public relations.
During his five years at National Geographic, Mr. Hampshire researched and directed photo assignments, edited and selected photos for publication and supervised some 20 stories annually through the magazine's layout process.
He joined Al Hayat in 1959 as associate editor. A year later, he left that position to become public information officer at the Food and Drug Administration, where he launched FDA Papers, the first government monthly magazine to use four-color photos. He later was a speechwriter for FDA commissioners and served as chief medical writer.
Mr. Hampshire joined the EPA when the agency was created in 1970. He served with Administrator William D. Ruckleshaus as a public information officer and was deputy in charge of communications. In 1972, he developed Project Documerica, a program to photograph America's environmental concerns in the documentary tradition of the FSA Depression-era photos. More than 120 photographers contributed to the project.
"Documerica" was first exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in August 1972. That exhibition was followed by "Our Only World," a Smithsonian Institution exhibition that toured the country. The images from the two exhibits are on file at the National Archives and were included in a 1999 National Archives exhibit, "Picturing the Century."
Mr. Hampshire left government service in 1980 and worked for the next six years as a consultant for the private and public sectors on projects involving editorial/public relations and photography. He was one of the visual information experts who served on a panel for the National Endowment for the Arts that evaluated photographers for government jobs.
In retirement, he wrote three unpublished novels, as well as a book of family history.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Mary Elizabeth Hampshire of Fairfax; two children, Gifford Ray Hampshire of Fairfax and Victoria Anna Hampshire of Bethesda; a brother; and four grandchildren.