The full name of former Maryland Gov. J. Millard Tawes, who died at age 85, was incorrectly stated in a Washington Post obituary and subsequent editorial. His name was John Millard Tawes.

J. MILLARD TAWES, who died Monday at 85, succeeded in leading Maryland through some of its roughest years of political, social and economic growth - with a remarkable political savvy. Slowly but effectively, the two-term governor manipulated the powers of his office to work his will on an often stubborn, recalcitrant legislature. From these labors of leadership came significant changes: a public accomodations law, reapportionment, reorganization and improvement of the state's higher education system and abolishment of slot machines.

This mastery of courthouse politics - the deliberate, behind-the-scenes pushing of constructive legislation - was coupled with a keen sense of direction for the state's Democratic Party. After a tough Democratic primary and before his successful reelection campaign in 1962, Gov. Tawes broke with Baltimore boss Jack Pollack and formed an alliance with the more progressive David Hume. Out of this relationship came a new understanding in Annapolis of the concerns of the state's growing urban areas.

Mr. Tawes was popular, winning election by the largest majority ever given to a Maryland governor - and remaining a friend of important public and private figures from both political parties. This affection served the state well, for he was able to bring to bear his reputation as a fiscal conservative from the Eastern Shore to compile a record of civil-rights progress that helped Maryland to discard its segregationist reputation. In this and other ways, Mr. Tawes demonstrated how Maryland's governor and the General Assembly could act as a force for the public interest.