Bly was born on May 5th, 1864, in a wealthy family, living in Cochrans Mills, PA. Her birth name is Elizabeth Jane Cochran.
New York World
Bly's father, Michael Cochran, dies when Nellie just turned 6. Three years later her mother remarries, but they have to move to Pittsburgh, PA due to a financial disater
Nellie in Blackwell
As Nellie grew older she started to really enjoy reading, one article she read was entitled "What Girls are Good for." Later she wrote them an angry letter and signed as "Little Orphan Girl". Fall of 1885, Nellie wrote her first article, "The Puzzle Girl.", her pen name was then born.
Post "Ten Days in a Madhouse"
Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World, and world renowned yellow journalists, gave Nellie a chance when she offered to pull one of her most famous and possibly most dangerous stunt: getting herself committed to the notorious Blackwell Island insane asylum.
As Bly spent 10 tens in this madhouse, she observed how brutally treated the mentally ill were enduring. She witnessed inhuman treatment such as shock therapy, and the helplessness in every patients eyes. “I have watched patients stand and gaze longingly toward the city they in all likelihood will never enter again. It means liberty and life; it seems so near, and yet heaven is not further from hell.”
Nellie's book is published and caused reform in attitudes towards the treatment and outside perception in the insane. Less than a year later after her book was published, she decided to travel the world... in less than 80 days, to later receive the world recorded for circling the earth in 72 days. Back in 1888 women were not allowed to travel without a man, but Nellie defied these outdated thinkers. Nellie left New York on a 24, 899 mile journey and came back with the pride to be a journalist in a nation full of male journalists.