George Clifford, 51, a longtime Washington newspaperman who had worked for three Washington daily newspapers and for syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, and who had reported on strife in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Latin America, died Aug. 18 at his home in Chevy Chase after a heart attack.

Mr. Clifford worked for the old Daily News from 1955 to 1965. During those years his jobs ranged from those of copy boy to assistant city editor and sports columnist.

He also wrote from Europe, Lebanon and Latin America. His coverage of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution brought him a Front Page Award from the Washington Newspaper Guild. Two years later, he reported from Lebanon when U.S. Marines entered that country. He also interviewed Fidel Castro when the Cuban leader was leading antigovernment forces against the Batista regime.

From 1970 to 1971, he was an assistant national editor at the old Washington Star. From 1972 to 1974, he worked for Jack Anderson, covering the Watergate investigation and coauthoring "The Anderson Papers," a book dealing with Anderson investigations of the federal government.

From 1982 to 1984, he was a national reporter with the Washington Times, traveling once again to Lebanon to cover that war-torn country. He also wrote from Syria.

Over the years, Mr. Clifford also had been a freelance writer, had ghost-written several books, and had contributed articles to national magazines on such topics as the fighting in Northern Ireland. From 1967 to 1970, he was Washington manager of the United States R&D Co., and worked for the National Alliance of Business.

Mr. Clifford was born in Rhode Island and reared in Washington. He was a 1953 graduate of Roosevelt High School and had attended Providence College.

Survivors include his wife, Garry, of Chevy Chase; three sons, George Clifford III of Newport News, Va., Thomas, of New Orleans, and Eamon, of Chevy Chase; his mother, Mary Clifford, and a brother, John, both of Washington, and three sisters, Kathleen MacDonough of Westport, Conn., Ellen Perkins of Chevy Chase, and Mary Poor of Sao Paulo, Brazil.