The highly respected maritime leader, former Federal Maritime Commission chairman and five-term US Congresswoman spent more than 70 years promoting the advancement of America’s industrial and manufacturing industries and the maritime community that flourished during her leadership era, making a major impact on the growth and development of the Port of Baltimore.

She started her career in journalism and became a widely respected maritime reporter. In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Bentley as chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, making her the first woman chosen by a president to head a regulatory agency.

She was a principal architect of the Nixon Administration’s 1970 Merchant Marine Act, which established a level of government support for building tankers and bulk carriers in US shipyards.

In 1984, Bentley was elected to serve Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District. When she left Congress after five terms, she formed Helen Bentley & Associates, a maritime consultancy in Baltimore. In 2004, she was honoured when Maryland’s governor renamed the port as The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore.

“Congresswoman Bentley was keenly focused on Maryland jobs and the next generation of workers,” says WWL’s Michael Derby, General Manager East Coast and Environmental Affairs. “From schoolchildren to longshoremen to owner/operators and business executives, many people are indebted to her diligent work for a vibrant port now and well into the future.”

To read the full story of Bentley’s life, click here.