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Published: 8 August 2016      

Helen Delich Bentley

A giant of the US ports industry has passed away at the age of 92

Helen Delich Bentley, journalist, government official and congresswoman, was a staunch supporter of the US seaports industry

In a special honorarium, the American Association of Port Authorities' EVP and General Counsel Jean Godwin said: “The port and maritime industry has lost one of its most ardent supporters...Although best remembered by many for her work as a journalist, Federal Maritime Commission chairman and US representative in Congress, we at AAPA acknowledge her strong advocacy for ports, particularly the Port of Baltimore."

In the first renaming of a US port in honour of a living individual, Maryland Governor Robert L Erlich, Jr, named the port after Mrs Bentley at a formal event recording the 300th anniversary of the port in 2006.

"We at the American Association of Port Authorities are greatly saddened by the loss of Mrs Bentley, who devoted her life to making a positive, indelible mark on the seaport industry and its issues," said Jean Godwin. "This was her passion and her pride. Her insights on port operations and public policy made her a very effective spokesperson for national port issues as well. Her expertise will be sorely missed in Washington.”

According to fellow journalist and longstanding friend and associate Barbara Yaninas, Bentley 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.

"Bentley used her chairmanship as a platform to strengthen American industry, and then continued the fight in Congress, where she became a leader against the transfer of jobs overseas," said Yaninas.


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