Retired Army Col. Russell G. Duff, 81, who served as an Army intelligence officer and later worked for American University, died of kidney failure Wednesday at Walter Reed Hospital.

Col. Duff received his commission in 1921. His tours of duty before World War II included service in Hawaii and as a language student at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

During World War II, he worked in the Japan branch of Army intelligence in Washington. He later served as a staff officer in the Pacific.

In 1949, he was named chief of the Army's Far East intelligence branch. He later served on NATO's intelligence staff, and then spent two years in Korea before retiring in 1955.

Following his military service, Col. Duff worked for about five years on the research staff of the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) at American University.

Col. Duff was a native of Saginaw, Mich. He earned a bachelor's degree at Virginia Military Institute and earned a master's degree at American University.

Survivors include his wife, Rosalie, of the home in Washington; three daughters, Jean Hugo, of Arlington, Frances Schiesser, of Austin, Tex., and Margaret Sheely, of Houston; two sisters, Mabel Duff and Frances whaley, both of Saginaw, and five grandchildren.