Morton Needle, a retired real estate developer, died Saturday. He was 81.

Born Feb. 14, 1931, in Charleston, he was the son of Joseph Needle and Bertha Rephan Needle. He served in the Navy during the Korean War, received his bachelorís degree from The Citadel and did graduate work in public relations at George Washington University.

Needle was involved with numerous development and preservation projects in the downtown historic area, including the restoration and revitalization of the Wraggborough neighborhood, working closely with The Historic Charleston Foundation.

He received a merit award for residential rehabilitation in 1985 from the National Association of Home Builders for his remodeling of the Italianate-style Porcher-Simonds House at 29 East Battery, which was built in 1856.

Needle also renovated the Vendue Inn, the boutique hotel in the French Quarter at Waterfront Park, of which he was the owner-operator for more than 20 years, adding the upper deck in 1995, now known as the Rooftop Bar.

He received the distinction of Realtor emeritus from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, which is an honor given for having served the organization for 40 cumulative years.

He was a member of Synagogue Emanu-El Beth Elohim, the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Benevolent Society.

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Sokol Needle; son Lawrence J. Needle and his wife Brenda; daughters Lynn N. Liss and husband Brian and Peggy N. Krawcheck and husband Eric; and nine grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at noon Monday in Emanu-El Cemetery in Charleston.

Memorials may be made to Synagogue Emanu-El, the Charleston Jewish Federation or the Charleston Animal Society.

Arrangements are being handled by Stuhrís Downtown Chapel of Charleston.