Born around 1867, Died 1922,
Nellie Bly was the pen name of American journalist Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman. She began her career in newspapers around the age of 18 when she wrote a letter to The Pittsburgh Dispatch in support of Women's Rights. The editor of the paper liked it so much he hired her on as a reporter.
She was famous for her exploits and expose's. Some of her more memorable ones were pretending to be a thief in order to get captured. She then wrote about how the police treated women prisoners. She also pretended to be insane in order to get inside a New York City mental hospital. Her report on the conditions that patients were forced to endure and the cruelty they were exposed to eventually led to reforms being passed.
Probably her most famous exploit was her trip around the world. Her newspaper, The New York World, sent her out in order to out do Phileas Fogg, the hero of the Jules Verne novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. She made the trip by ship, train, handcart and burro in a record time of 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes.
The name "Nellie Bly" comes from the song of the same name by composer Stephen Foster. There is also a small amusement park in Brooklyn N. Y. named after her.