Donald W. Whitehead, 74, a Republican lawyer who was the former federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, died Oct. 24, 2003 at his home in Beltsville, MD after a heart attack.

Mr. Whitehead, a lifetime member of the Republican National Committee and a member of the National Republican Lawyers Committee, was director of Richard M. Nixon's Presidential Committee for the Mid-Atlantic States in 1968 and co-chairman of Nelson A. Rockefeller's Presidential Campaign Committee in Massachusetts in 1964.

He also worked for the campaigns of Sen. Edward W. Brooke III (R-Mass.) and Republican Gov. John A. Volpe of Massachusetts.

Mr. Whitehead, who was born in Auburn, N.Y., graduated from Williams College in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in English. In 1955, he earned a law degree from Northeastern University.

He worked as a lawyer in Massachusetts for a life insurance firm and economic development firm until 1962, when he became an administrative assistant to Rep. Hastings Keith (R-Mass.) The next year, he became a Massachusetts assistant attorney general. From 1964 until 1971, he was a partner at the Hahn & Whitehead law firm in Boston.

He moved to Washington in 1970 when he became general counsel to the Appalachian Regional Commission. The next year, he was appointed by President Nixon as the federal co-chairman through 1977.

He returned to private legal practice in 1977, working for the now-defunct firm of Anderson & Pendleton in Washington and then in private practice until retirement in 1995.

He was a consultant to the governments of Portugal and Nigeria and was president and chairman of the International Agency for Apiculture Development, which promotes beekeeping in the Third World. 

He also volunteered his legal services to Good Bears of the World, which gives teddy bears to hospitalized children and nursing home residents.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Margaret S. Whitehead of Beltsville; two daughters, Donna L. Shabin of College Park and Karen A. Graybeal of Laurel; three sons, John L. Whitehead of Upper Marlboro, Robert S. Whitehead of Mechanicsville and Donald W. Whitehead Jr. of Ellicott City; two brothers, Richard Whitehead of New York and Louis Henry Whitehead of Ohio; 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.