Anna Lord Strauss, 79, a former president of the National League of Women Voters, died Friday at her apartment in New York City. She suffered from arteriosclerosis.

She was head of the national league from 1945 to 1950. Prior to then, she was president of the New York City League of Women Voters for six years.

Miss Strauss was born in New York City. She was the great-granddaughter of Lucretia Mott, the distinguished suffrage pioneer. Her father, Albert Strauss, was a banker and vice governor of the Federal Reserve Board.

She attended the New York School for Secretaries and served during World War I with the U.S. Shipping Board and the State Department. Later she became managing editor of the old Century magazine.

In 1951, Miss Strauss was a member of the U.S. delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations. She also was a member of President Truman's Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights that year.

Two years later, she was an educational exchange representative in Southeast Asia for the State Department. In the Eisenhower administration, she was a member of the President's Committee on Education Beyond High School and the President's People-to-People Program.

She is survived by a sister, Mrs. Henry Mali, of New York City.