Frank M. Perper, 83, president of the Motel Management Corp. of America who helped develop nearly 50 Holiday Inn motels in the eastern United States, died Sept. 3 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had cancer.

Motel Management owns 13 motels including eight Holiday Inns in the Washington area.

Mr. Perper began working in the hotel business in his native Philadelphia, where he worked his way from bellhop to hotel owner. He owned and operated establishments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before coming to Washington in the 1940s.

He was the proprieter of the old Hotel 2400. An associate of Mr. Perper's recalled that it was in the hotel in the late 1930s that Mr. Perper and Kemmons Wilson, a guest at the hotel, began working on a concept of a nationwide network of franchised hotels they would call "Holiday Inns."

Mr. Perper build his first Holiday Inn in Binghamton, N.Y., in the early 1960s, quickly followed by one in Princeton, N.J., and the first two ever built in Washington. He was involved in the development of what would have been his 50th Holiday Inn, at 500 C St. SW, at the time of his death.

He was decorated by the Korean government at a ceremony at that country's embassy in 1966 for his assistance to Korean students studying in this country.

Survivors include his wife, Libby, of the homes in Arlington and Bal Harbour, Fla.; two sons, Harold, of Arlington and Hollywood, Fla., and Martin, of McLean, who is a legislator representing northern Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Delegates, and 14 grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.