Helen Delich Bentley

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Helen Delich Bentley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Clarence Long
Succeeded by Robert Ehrlich
Personal details
Born (1923-11-28) November 28, 1923 (age 91)
Ruth, Nevada
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) William Roy Bentley (deceased)

Helen Delich Bentley (born November 28, 1923) is an American politician who was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Maryland from 1985 to 1995.

Life and career[edit]

Bentley was born in Ruth, Nevada, and is of Serbian descent.[1] She attended the University of Nevada and George Washington University, and earned a BA from the University of Missouri in 1944. She was a maritime reporter and editor of The Baltimore Sun and served on the Federal Maritime Commission from 1969 to 1975. Beginning in 1950, while writing for the Sun, she also hosted a local Baltimore TV program on WMAR, The Port That Built A City, presenting maritime and transportation-related news.[2] Later retitled The Port That Built a City and State, the series was produced by Bentley until 1965 and included then-novel live remotes from the decks of ships in Baltimore harbor during the early years of television.[3]

Bentley was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the 97th and 98th Congresses in 1980 and 1982, respectively. She was elected as a Republican to the 99th Congress in 1984, and to the four succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1985, to January 3, 1995. During her time in office, Bentley was a strong advocate for protectionist trade policies in support of U.S. manufacturing and the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet.

Being of Serbian origin, she was known to be sympathetic towards Serbians during the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and opposed U.S. military involvement in that conflict. A member of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Bentley was recognized by her colleagues as a leading expert on federal maritime policy.

In August 1987, she was the sponsor for the commissioning of the USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) at Lockheed Shipyards in Seattle, Washington.

She was not a candidate for reelection to the 104th Congress in 1994, but was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination for Governor of Maryland. Despite the endorsement from the incumbent Democratic governor William Donald Schaefer,[4] she was defeated in the Republican primary by the more conservative Ellen Sauerbrey. Bentley was then an unsuccessful candidate for election to the 108th Congress in 2002, losing to then-Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

Before and since that time she has been an active businesswoman and lobbyist as the president and CEO of Helen Delich Bentley & Associates, Inc., and also as an international trade, business and government consultant. She also is a consultant for the Maryland Port Administration, Port of Baltimore, which was renamed in June 2006 by then-Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. as the "Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore." She also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Baltimore Museum of Industry.[5]

Bentley was married to William Roy Bentley, who died in 2003 from a stroke. The couple had no children.


  1. ^ "Famous American Serbs". Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ Shapiro, M. Sigmund (Fall 1999). "The Saga of Samuel Shapiro & Company". Generations (Jewish Museum of Maryland). Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  3. ^ , Rasmussen, Frederick N. (July 23, 2011). "Lawrence H. Taylor—One of the pioneering broadcast engineer's duties was maintaining WMAR-TV's transmitter (obit.)". Baltimore Sun. p. 14. 
  4. ^ Defilippo, Frank A. (1998-06-19). "Schaefer's endorsement of governor no mystery". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-06-09. Glendening showed up to break bread with the same Schaefer who endorsed Republicans George Bush for president, Helen Delich Bentley for governor and John G. Gary for Anne Arundel County executive. 
  5. ^ "Baltimore Museum of Industry Board of Trustees". Baltimore Museum of Industry. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clarence Long
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert Ehrlich