Former representative Alfred E. Santangelo (D-N.Y.), once described as "Washington's favorite congressman," died Thursday in Orlando. Fla., after suffering a stroke. He was 65.

He had served in the House from 1957 to 1962, and had been a member of the House District Appropriations subcommittee.

The description of the congressman was made in June 1962, when he was honored here with a $50-a-plate campaign fund luncheon. On the advisory committee for the luncheon was a D.C. commissioner along with other officials.

At that time he had been gerrymandered out of his congressional district by the New York legislature. He decided to run again for Congress from another New York legislature. He decided to run again for Congress from another New York district but lost after a bitter campaign.

Mr. Santangelo made many forays into the District of Columbia to get a first-hand look at the city's problems while he was serving on the subcommittee.

He visited police, fire, health and welfare institutions as well as the schools, and was considered sympathetic to the city's needs.

Born on New York's East Side, he grew up on Staten Island. He graduated from the City College of New York and Columbia University Law School.

Mr. Santangelo practiced law in New York. He also served as a senator in the New York legislature from 1947 through 1956.

After he came to Washington, he served on the House Appropriations Committee, where he worked to eliminate waste in military contracts. He was a crusader for Italian-American rights and was a former president of the American Anti-Defamation League, which later became Americans of Italian Descent.

After he left Congress, Mr. Santangelo returned to his law practice in New York, which he still maintained at the time of his death. He was vacationing in Florida when he was stricken.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, and two children, Patricia and Charles, of the home in New York; three other daughters. Mary Jo Nocero, of Altamonte Springs, Fla., and Eileen Hult and Betty Jane Santangelo, both of New York, and five grandchildren.