Paul L. Styles, 72, who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board from 1950 to 1953 and later an official of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday in a hospital in Huntsville, Ala.

Mr. Styles was born in Knoxville, Tenn., and reared in Alabama. He spent much of his life in the South working in the cotton mills before becoming a combination editor-printer with the Huntsville (Ala.) Times in 1927.

He went to work for the NLRB as a field examiner in Atlanta in 1937. He served on the War Labor Board in Atlanta during World War II, then was promoted to NLRB regional director in Atlanta in 1945.

When appointed to the board in 1950 he was said be the first member who came up through the ranks, and one of the first with a practical understanding of management-labor relations.

After a stint in private industry as a managment consultant, Mr. Styles rejoined the government as NASA's chief of industrial relations in Huntsville in 1960.He held that job until retiring in the early 1970s.

He had attended the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta in the late 1940s.

Survivors include his wife, Louise C., of Huntsville; a daughter, Kittye Kiper of Shreveport, La.; a son, Paul L. Jr., of Atlanta; two sisters, Helen Dickey and Grace Buford, both of Huntsville; a brother, Louis, of Riverside, Calif., and five grandchildren.