Herbert Wells Whiteman Jr., a past president of the Urban Bankers Coalition of New York City and the National Association of Urban Bankers, died of heart failure last week. He was 61.

A 20-year veteran of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mr. Whiteman was a vice president in the bank supervision group, working in information systems.

He was security adviser for Federal Reserve operations in New York and played a key role in formulating and implementing the Federal Reserve System's long-range automation program, the Fed said.

He also worked on the New York Fed's five-year program to upgrade computer equipment and programs.

Most recently, he led a group which studied information security practices at financial services companies nationwide.

Mr. Whiteman "exemplified excellence as a leader," serving the banking community and his home community in New York, said Frederick E. Curry 3d, an associate with PaineWebber Inc., and the immediate-past president of the Urban Bankers Coalition of New York City.

"He also volunteered nationally and internationally reaching out to people, giving them hope, inspiration, and guidance," Mr. Curry added.

In 1996, Mr. Whiteman was named "Banker of the Year," when the Urban Bankers Coalition celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Mr. Whiteman joined the New York Fed's data processing area in 1977 after 12 years with International Business Machines Corp.

He received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1964, and a master's degree from New York University in 1972, both in civil engineering. In 1985, he completed the advanced management program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration.

Mr. Whiteman is survived by his wife, Nola, three sisters, a daughter, and two grandchildren. A funeral service was held last Wednesday in St. James Cathedral, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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