Paul Grimaldi, 81, a retired custom tailor whose clients included President Truman, Gen. de Gaulle, Gene Kelly and other notables during a long career here, died of cancer Tuesday at the Washington Adventist Hospital. He lived in Silver Spring.

He was born in Italy and came to Washington in 1919, where he began working for several small clothing stores. In 1922, he joined The Mode, a custom-tailor shop at 11th and F streets NW. The store was patronized by many top government people and by entertainers and other notables when they were in town.

When The Mode closed down in 1958, Mr. Grimaldi continued to work at men's clothing stores, including Raleigh's and Lewis & Thomas Saltz. He retired in 1965.

He was a chapter member of the Fiumedinisi Club, named after a town in Italy where he had once lived, St. Camilus Catholilc Parish in Silver Spring, and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union.

His wife, Angelina, died in 1973.

He is survived by a daughter, Diane Altimont, and two sons Joseph Anthony, a sister, Nancy Crisafulli, and a brother, Carmelo, all of Silver Spring; another brother, Joseph, of Riverdale; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.