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Three piece wool suit and matching hat worn by Helen Delich Bentley (1923-2016). Bentley’s career as a journalist began in 1948 as a young reporter for the Baltimore Sun. Unlike most women reporters who were restricted to the society pages, Bentley’s beat was the waterfront. She created the nation’s most respected maritime news section, breaking important local and national stories. In the 1950s, she branched into television with the series The Port That Built a City. For this program, Bentley acted as producer, director, editor, writer, and interviewer, all the while still editing and reporting for the Sun. Along with her penchant for journalism, Bentley also ran a successful political career and served as the Federal Maritime Commission’s chair from 1969 to 1975 and as a Maryland congresswoman from 1985 to 1995. A well-known face in Baltimore news, she was also known for her personal style, including her hats, which were featured in a profile on Bentley in the 1950s.



Late 1960s


Wool tweed, fur, silk plush

Object ID

2015.20.1a-c; 2015.20.2

Resource ID


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Helen D. Bentley

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


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