Herman Liebling, 96, an economist who retired from the U.S. Treasury Department in 1976 after a 30-year federal career, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 31 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. A daughter, Lynne Liebling, confirmed his death.

After retiring from government service, Dr. Liebling was a professor of economics at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., from 1976 until 1982. Later, he was a visiting professor of economics at the University of California at San Diego and at Florida International University.

During those years, he maintained a home in the Bannockburn neighborhood of Bethesda, where he returned permanently in 1985.

Herman Isaac Liebling was born in Brooklyn, and he graduated from Brooklyn College in 1939. In 1961, he received a doctorate in economics from American University.

In 1946, he began his federal career as an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Later, he worked at the Commerce Department and the National Science Foundation. For four years before his 1976 federal retirement, he was senior economist in the office of the secretary of the treasury.

Dr. Liebling was a docent at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington and a member of the Bannockburn Civic Association.

His wife of 42 years, Mabel Rudman Liebling, died in 1988.

Survivors include two daughters, Lynne Liebling of San Diego and Lauren Liebling-Davis of London; and a granddaughter.

— Bart Barnes