Nellie Bly

I was too impatient to work at the usual duties assigned women on newspapers.

It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world.

Pioneering investigative journalist Nellie Bly (May 5, 1864 – January 27, 1922) was hired by the Pittsburgh Dispatch after writing an angry letter in response to Erasmus Wilson’s columns insisting women’s place was in the home. Bly (born Elizabeth Jane Cochran) knew women in industrial-era Pittsburgh who had little choice but to work, and her response impressed the editor enough that he asked her to write a rebuttal, which then led to a full-time job. Read more about her work detailing the lives of the poor, the overlooked–most notoriously her undercover work in an asylum for the mentally ill–here and here.

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