Fred T. Lininger, who oversaw the growth of the Liberian ship register from its modest beginnings in 1948 to its position as the largest in the world by the late 1970s, has died, aged 88.
Lininger was an aide to US Secretary of State, Edward Stettinius, who led the American delegation to the Yalta talks near the end of World War II. Following his resignation, Stettinius, who had visited Liberia on his return from Yalta, helped to develop commercial interests in Liberia and appointed Lininger as Vice-President of the Liberian International Trust Company, which was established in 1947 to manage the country’s maritime programme.
From its inception, the Liberian register has been managed by an American corporation, and Lininger remained its Chief Executive until he retired in the late 1980s. He was never the public face of Liberia, but it is fair to say that he is one of the people who laid the groundwork for a system of ship registry which
is now accepted as the norm in the shipping industry.
Lininger was born near Martinsburg in Pennsylvania and graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1940. His wife of sixty years, Nancy Kirkpatrick Lininger, died in 2005. They had two children, Mollie L. Alkan, F. Kurt Lininger. A memorial service was held at Saint James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Virginia on Friday, September 28, 2007.