Neal Steven Steinert, former Charleston County administrator and associate municipal court judge, died Wednesday. He was 65.

Steinert was born Oct. 1, 1945. His political career began as a high school sophomore, when he served as a page for U.S. Rep. L. Mendel Rivers. Steinert went on to earn a bachelor's degree in government from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in international studies from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in political science from Emory University.

Steinert served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Upon his return to Charleston, he married Harriett Rittenberg. He then spent five years in the College of Charleston's political science department, creating and directing the school's urban studies program.

In 1977, the family moved to Baltimore when Steinert was named director of congressional relations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and special liaison with the Secretary of Commerce during the Carter presidency. Two years later, they moved back to Charleston, and Steinert began his four-year tenure as Charleston County administrator.

He resigned from the position to study at USC's law school. After graduation, he became a practicing partner with Wise and Cole and later served as associate municipal court judge. Steinert also served as president of the Charleston Trident Chamber of Commerce.

He is survived by his wife of Sullivan's Island.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Synagogue Emanu-El, with burial following at Emanu-El Cemetery, Maryville. Arrangements are being handled by Stuhr's Downtown Chapel.