Thomas Slattery, the former publisher and executive editor of National Underwriter Life & Health, has died of respiratory failure.

Slattery, 68, began working for The National Underwriter Company in March 1967 as a staff writer. He later became managing editor, running the day-to-day news operations of both the life and property-casualty editions of National Underwriter.

Slattery also served as editor-in-chief of both editions before becoming publisher.

Slattery left the company in 2001 and went on to work as an editor, freelance writer and columnist. He was the managing director of Slattery-Esterkamp Communications, Baldwin, N.Y.

Slattery had a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Fordham University.

Slattery was a member of the editorial committee of American Business Press, and he helped draft the ABP’s ethical standards.