Norman Landy, 92, a lawyer and businessman who was a principal owner of the old Howard Johnson hotel across from the Watergate complex in the District, died Aug. 26 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He had pneumonia.

Mr. Landy, an Arlington resident, was a Pittsburgh native. He was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a 1934 graduate of its law school.

He practiced law in Pittsburgh, where he built and owned several properties before settling in the Washington area in the 1960s. He specialized in criminal and malpractice cases as well as child custody matters.

One early case involved the successful representation of a mother who wanted her baby back after giving it up for adoption.

For several years, he maintained a Pittsburgh law office with partner Norman Wolken while working predominantly in Washington. In recent years, he worked from his home in Arlington.

The Howard Johnson hotel opened in 1963 and gained notoriety in 1972 as the command post from which members of President Richard M. Nixon's reelection team kept a lookout on their operatives across the way at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate.

The Watergate scandal eventually led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.

About 15 years ago, the hotel was sold to the Bernstein real estate family of the Washington area. The property is now owned by George Washington University and used as a dormitory.

In the 1980s, Mr. Landy was owner of the Belmont Kitchen restaurant in Adams Morgan.

He enjoyed trying to preserve the Yiddish language by speaking it to anyone who would listen. He had owned race horses, and gambling continued to be an avocation.

He insisted on gourmet food and was distinctly unembarrassed about returning cuisine he judged to be less than perfect, even at the world's finest restaurants.

His marriage to Miriam Landy ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Anna Hauptman Landy of Arlington; two children from his first marriage, Bruce Landy of Wichita Falls, Tex., and Robin Amadon of Seattle; three stepchildren, Jean Garcia of Santa Rosa, Calif., Debra Hauptman Basilis of Arlington and Harvey Hauptman of Greenbelt; and six grandchildren.