Carlton E. Spitzer, 88, a public relations officer who ran his own business in Washington for about 15 years, died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma May 4 at William Hill Manor, an assisted-living facility in Easton, Md.

A daughter, Kathryn Campbell, confirmed his death.

Mr. Spitzer came to Washington in the early 1960s as a public affairs counselor and speechwriter for Education Commissioner Francis Keppel. Later, he was director of public information for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

In the 1970s, Mr. Spitzer was corporate vice president for public affairs for Borden food and beverage products in Washington.

He opened his public affairs business in the late 1970s, specializing in business, government and nonprofit organizations. He ran that operation until the early 1990s.

Carlton Edward Spitzer was born in Buffalo. He served in the Army during World War II. He attended the Art Institute of Buffalo and St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. At 16, he learned to fly an airplane, and for the rest of his live, he was an avocational pilot.

When he was in his 30s, Mr. Spitzer lost his hearing. In 1962, he wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post about a surgical process that restored it.

Before coming to Washington, he was director of public relations for the Utica, N.Y., division of Bendix Aviation and for Wyandotte Chemicals in Wyandotte, Mich.

Mr. Spitzer wrote a 1982 book, “Raising the Bottom Line,” about industrial involvement in social issues. He gave talks in foreign countries on corporate social responsibility for the U.S. Information Agency.

Late in the 1990s, he moved from Alexandria to Easton. He wrote a column, “Keeping Pace,” for the Star Democrat and Sunday Star newspapers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He also wrote plays about people who overcame disabilities.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Joan Patricia Smith Spitzer of Easton; seven children, Kathryn Campbell of Easton, Nancy Blakeway of Healy, Alaska, Mary Bowen of Hagerstown, Md., Susan Hodge of Camp Springs, Patricia Spitzer of Lincoln, Neb., Amy Bivins of Kennesaw, Ga., and John Spitzer of Shiremanstown, Pa.; two brothers; 14 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes