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Former U.S. Rep. Helen Bentley enters hospice care

Posted at 2:01 PM, Jun 22, 2016

A spokesman for former Maryland Rep. Helen Bentley says she has entered hospice care.

Joseph Schrack, a family spokesman, confirmed Wednesday that the 92-year-old Republican is receiving hospice care at her home in Baltimore County. He says Bentley wants to thank the Greater Baltimore Medical Center for taking care of her. He says she's also thanking all who have included her in their thoughts and prayers.

Bentley represented parts of Baltimore County from 1985 to 1995.

Prior to her political career, she was one of WMAR-TV’s pioneering local personalities.

Bentley worked as maritime editor for The Baltimore Sun, which hosted The Port That Built A City, a weekly show dedicated to maritime, shipping and transportation-related news.

She previously worked as a reporter for The Sun, covering the Port of Baltimore, after being hired by the newspaper in 1945. The port is now named after her.

Bentley was appointed chair of the Federal Maritime Commission by President Richard Nixon in 1969.

In a statement, Maryland Port Administration Executive Director James J. White said "there is no one more synonymous with the Port of Baltimore than Helen."

"From her days as a rare female Baltimore Sun reporter in the 1940s covering the Port of Baltimore through her years hosting “The Port That Built a City and State” on local television, Helen introduced the Port of Baltimore and the important role that seaports play in our economy to the general public," White said.  "She went on to become the first woman chair of the Federal Maritime Commission and a member of Congress for ten years where she was a strong advocate for economic opportunities and manufacturing."

"Helen has devoted a large part of her life to the Port of Baltimore and the men and women who work here. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers," White said. 

WMAR Staff contributed to this story.