Frances R. Glennon, 87, a former associate editor at Life magazine who retired in 1996 from Smithsonian Magazine, died Dec. 10 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington of congestive heart failure. She was a District resident.

A nephew, Randolph Johnson, confirmed the death.

Ms. Glennon joined Life magazine’s advertising staff in the late 1940s. Later she became a reporter on stories spanning politics and entertainment. She served on the editorial board of Time-Life Books before joining Smithsonian Magazine around 1980.

Frances Reading Glennon was born in Port Gibson, Miss., and grew up in the New York borough of Queens. She was a 1945 economics graduate of the University of Michigan and received a master’s degree in liberal studies from Yale University.

She was a member of Episcopal Christ Church in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood.

Her marriage to Charles H. Bennett ended in divorce. She had no immediate survivors.

— Adam Bernstein