John H.F. Hoving, 87, a Washington-based public relations consultant who specialized in corporate clients including IBM, ITT, Pan Am and the manufacturing company Eagle-Picher Industries, died Dec. 19 at a nursing home in Williamsburg. He had pneumonia.

After an early journalism career in Wisconsin, he served in Washington from 1956 to 1964 as a vice president of the Air Transport Association. He spent a year on leave from the association, a trade group for major domestic airlines, working for the Kennedy White House as a trade policy adviser.

He then owned and operated a public affairs consulting business in the District before moving to Cincinnati in 1972 to became senior vice president for public affairs of Federated Department Stores. During this period, BusinessWeek magazine named him one of the top executives in corporate public relations, his family said.

Mr. Hoving returned to Washington in 1982 and started another private consulting company, the Hoving Group, with Federated among its clients.

In 2000, Mr. Hoving moved to Williamsburg from the District.

John Hannes Forester Hoving was a New York native and a 1947 history graduate of the University of Chicago.

He served in the Army in Europe during World War II, and his decorations included the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

He was a past board chairman of the Washington Theological Consortium and the National Association for the Southern Poor, a nonprofit group that works to eradicate poverty and is now known as the Washington-based National Community Development Organization. He also was a Democratic Party volunteer.

His other memberships included the National Press Club and the Metropolitan Club.

His marriage to Julia Gonder Hoving ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Anne Spiers Hoving of Williamsburg; a son from his first marriage, Christopher Hoving of Los Alamos, N.M.; two daughters from his second marriage, Karen A. Hoving of Centennial, Colo., and Katherine Hoving of Williamsburg; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein