Rep. Daniel B. Crane (R-Ill.), the brother of Illinois Republican Rep. Philip Crane, was elected to Congress in 1978 thanks to a shrewd direct-mail campaign and a well-funded election effort.

A staunchly conservative Republican, Crane was defeated in his first run for office in 1966. But after he worked in Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign, Crane capitalized on his political contacts and fund-raising skill to win the Republican primary and the general election.

Crane has been allied with the National Conservative Political Action Committee. In a national NCPAC fund-raising letter last year, Crane declared: "Our nation's moral fiber is being weakened by the growing homosexual movement and the fanatical ERA pushers (many of whom publicly brag they are lesbians.)"

Crane and his brother, who ran for president in 1980, received "perfect conservative" ratings from the American Conservative Union, which Philip Crane formerly headed.

Crane, 47, is a dentist from Danville, a town of 38,000 residents, in the 19th Congressional District in rural central Illinois.

He is a member of the Armed Services Committee and the ranking Republican of the subcommittee of the House Post Office and Civil Service committee that is currently investigating how Reagan aides obtained Jimmy Carter's debate briefing book.

Crane was raised in a working class neighborhood in south Chicago by a strict Methodist family. The Cranes' conservative political philosophy, with its emphasis on militant anticommunism and free enterprise, was influenced by their father, George Crane III, a psychologist and writer. Another brother, David Crane, an Indiana psychiatrist, has run unsuccessfully for Congress three times.

Born in Chicago, Crane attended public schools, graduated from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., and received his DDS from the Indiana University School of Dentistry.