On This Day

Nellie Bly

Journalist and Adventurer Nellie Bly

Full Name: Elizabeth Cochran Seaman
Profession: Journalist and Adventurer

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Why Famous: Nellie Bly was the most famous female journalist of her time. Born Elizabeth Cochran, Nellie Bly was her pen name. She was first employed by the local Pittsburgh Dispatch after replying angrily to an article titled "What Girls are Good For?".

Moving to New York in an attempt to write more broadly for men as well as women, Bly's first assignment was investigating the conditions of a mental asylum on Blackwell's Island. To do this she pretended to be insane. Her resulting piece "Ten Days in a Mad House" (1887) exposed appalling conditions and prompted a major investigation. It made her name as a journalist.

In 1889 Bly set off in an attempt to beat the fictional journey of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg's in "Round the World in Eighty Days", which she did in a then record 72 days.

Born: May 5, 1865
Birthplace: Cochran's Mills (now Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, USA
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: January 27, 1922 (aged 56)
Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Events in the Life of Nellie Bly

  • 1889-11-14 New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) begins her attempt to surpass fictitious journey of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg by traveling around the world in under 80 days. She succeeds, finishing the trip in 72 days, 6 hours
  • 1890-01-25 Journalist Nellie Bly beats the fictitious journey of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg around the world by 8 days (72 days)

Famous Journalists