William Rand, 48, one of three founders of the Advocate, a newspaper dedicated to gay causes. Rand came to Los Angeles from his native Portland, Ore., in the 1960s and with Dick Michaels and Sam Winston started the Advocate in answer to what they saw as abuses of the gay community by the Los Angeles Police Department. By 1969, the publication had grown to a point where it demanded their full-time attention. By the time the newspaper was sold in 1974 it had a national circulation of 48,000 every other week. Most recently Rand and Michaels published a computer newsletter from their home in the Sierra Foothills. On Feb. 27 of a heart attack at his home in Dunlap, Calif.