H. Grady Gore, 85, a farm boy from Tennessee who made a fortune in real estate in the Washington area and who once sought the Republican nomination for U.S. senator from Maryland, died at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda Thursday following a stroke.

If Mr. Gore made his money by himself, he seems to have got his interest in politics from members of his family and he passed it on to some of his chldren. Among his cousins were former Sen. Albert Gore (D-Tenn.) and the late former Sen. Thomas P. Gore (D-Okla.). He once told an interviewer that he was inspired as a boy to follow the example of the senator from Oklahoma, who got to Washington despite the handicap of poor vision.

Mr. Gore himself tried for the GOP nomination for the Senate in 1952. He was defeated by J. Blenn Beall Sr., whose son later succeeded him in Congress. Mr Gore also served as finance chairman of the Maryland Republican Party and was active in the GOP for many years.

After his defeat by Beall, Mr. Gore was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the International Organization Employes Loyalty Board.

One of his four children is Louise Gore, the Republican candidate for governor who was defeated by Democrat Marvin Mandel in 1974.

Mr. Gore was born in Charthage, Tenn. He was orphaned at the age of 14 and put himself through school by picking apples and doing other chores. He earned a law degree at Cumberland Sanford Law School and set up a practice in Tennessee. (Years later, he became an honorary Tennessee colonel.)

In the 1920s, Mr. Gore became an official of the New York Life Insurance Co. and traveled widely in the south.

About 1926, he moved to Maryland and began his career in real estate. He lived in Frederick and Hagerstown but soon mooved to Bethesda. In time, he had holdings in Maryland, the District and Virginia. Among them was the Fairfax Hotel on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

In addition to his business interests, which included membership of the boards of a number of companies, Mr. Gore served on the Maryland Economic Development Commission from 1966 to 1970. He was a president of the Montgomery County Historical Society.

About 10 years ago, Mr. Gore began to divest himself of most of his real estate holdings. In 1978, he sold the Fairfax Hotel.

His principal residence since 1941 was Marwood, an estate in Potomac and the site of many celebrated social and political functions. He also maintained an apartment and an office at the Fairfax.

Survivors include his wife, the former Jamie Shorter of Potomac; two sons, H. Grady Jr., of Potomac; and James, of Bethany Beach, Del.; two daughters, Louise, of Potomac, and Mary Dean, of Washington, and several grandchildren.