Cliff Battles, 70, a halfback on the Washington Redskins football team in the 1930s and a member of both the College and the Professional Football hall of fame, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at a hospital in Seminole, Fla.
Mr. Battles joined the Redskins in 1932, when they were still in Boston. He stayed with the club when the late George Preston Marshall moved the team to Washington. He was the first player in the National Football League to gain 200 yards or more in a single game. He did it against the New York Giants in 1933.
He was the league's leading groundgainer in three of the six years that he played. In 1937, his best year, he ran for 875 yards, the best in the league, and then quit when Marshall refused to give him a raise. His career total in yardage gained was 3,542.
When he left the Redskins, Mr. Battles became an assistant to coach Lou Little at Columbia University. After World War II service as a captain in the Marine Corp, he became head coach of the Brooklyn Dodgers football team.
He later moved to Washington and was a legislative representative for General Electric here for more than 30 years before retiring in 1979 and moving to Seminole.
Mr. Battles was born in Akron, Ohio, and went to college at West Virginia Wesleyan. Marshall first saw him play in a game against Georgetown University at the old Griffith Stadium. Mr. Battles returned a punt 90 yards. In a game against Salem, Mr. Battles once scored seven touchdowns and ran for 378 yards.
Marshall hired him for the Boston Redskins at the salary of $175 a game. Mr. Battles had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was offered a Rhodes Scholarship. But he chose to play football.
In his later years in Washington, Mr. Battles was a president of the Touchdown Club and of the University Club. He also was a member of the board of governors of the Congressional Country Club.
Survivors include his wife, the former Edith Wann, of Seminole, two daughters, Pat Carlson of Akron and Judith Dowd of Cleveland, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.