Press "Enter" to skip to content

Profile of the Day: Nellie Bly

On this day in 1864, journalist Nellie Bly was born. A pioneer in her field, Bly helped launch a new kind of investigative journalism.

Image: Nellie Bly / Library of Congress

Bly was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864 in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania. The town of Cochran’s Mills was named after her father, Michael Cochran, who was a mill owner and judge. As a journalist, she wrote under the pen name “Nellie Bly.”

While working as reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper the New York World, Bly wrote one of her most important pieces, an exposé on the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island. For ten days, Bly went undercover as a patient to investigate reports of brutality and neglect at the asylum. Her remarkable report was published in the book Ten Days in a Mad-House and exposed the disturbing abuses and conditions at the facility. Bly’s report launched a grand jury investigation and led to significant changes to New York City’s Department of Public Charities and Corrections.

In 1888, Bly gained fame again on yet another newsworthy assignment, a trip around the world. Inspired by Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in 80 Days, Bly completed her trip around the world in just 72 days, setting a new world record at the time.

Bly died on January 27, 1922 at the age of 57.

Explore Nellie Bly’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected!

View Nellie Bly’s Geni Profile

iframe{ border: 1px solid #999; }


Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *