Dr. Alfred J. Steinberg, 85, a pediatrician in Washington for 45 years, died of cancer Wednesday in Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

Dr. Steinberg was born in New York and moved to this area with his family as a youth. He worked his way through George Washington University and then went to Harvard Medical School on a scholarship. He established a practice in Washington and maintained it until his retirement in 1963.

Dr. Steinberg learned bridge while at Harvard and was a life master of the game.

He also was a charter member of the Samuel Gompers Masonic Lodge in Washington and a member of the Harvard University Alumni Club here.

Dr. Steinberg moved to Miami, Fla., following his retirement. He returned here several weeks ago because of his illness and to be with members of his family.

Survivors include his wife, Rose Goldsteen Steinberg, of the home in Miami; three sons, Dr. Stanley H., of Silver Spring; Dr. M. Robert, of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Dr. Gerald J., of Silver Spring; a brother, A. Robert, of Silver Spring; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Progress Club of Washington, 7826 Eastern Ave. NW., Washington, 20012.