ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Helen Delich Bentley, a former Maryland congresswoman who was an expert on the maritime industry, died Saturday of brain cancer. She was 92.
Key Kidder, a spokesman for the family, said Bentley died shortly after 1:30 p.m. at her home in Timonium, where she was receiving hospice care.
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Bentley, a Republican, served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 2nd Congressional District for 10 years from 1985 to 1995. She was known for a tenacious and gruff political style that produced results, especially when it came to her beloved Port of Baltimore. The port was named after her in 2006.
Gov. Larry Hogan described Bentley as one of Maryland’s most dedicated and respected leaders.
“During a recent visit with her, I was inspired to see that the same spirit and determination that defined both her public and personal life was still very much present right up to the end,” Hogan said in a prepared statement.
“Congresswoman Bentley worked with tenacity, energy, and passion on behalf of her constituents, making her a rare breed in politics and a role model to public servants across Maryland,” Hogan added. “She was a trailblazer for women in media and government, a longtime champion for manufacturing, maritime issues, and the Port of Baltimore which proudly bears her name as an everlasting tribute to her achievements.”
Hogan first ran for public office in 1980, when she lost to veteran Rep. Clarence Long. She lost again two years later, but in 1984 she defeated Long.
By the end of her first term, she helped pass a bill allowing a 50-foot channel to be dredged into the Baltimore port, making it the only East Coast port with that distinction. She described it as one of her most significant accomplishments.
Bentley ran in Maryland’s Republican gubernatorial primary in 1994, …