Nellie Bly (#2 painting of 13) “Influential Women”

Film Fables

Nellie Bly 1864-1922

Nellie Bly

1864 -1922

“Lonely Orphan Girl”

Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran, the moniker “Nellie Bly” was assigned Cochran by George Madden, editor of the Pittsburg Dispatch, as her pen name based on the Stephen Foster’s popular song Nelly Bly.

Due to a fierce retort to a misogynist newspaper column What Girls Are Good For, Nellie, at age 18,was hired by Madden to pen her own column Lonely Orphan Girl, which focused on the plight of working women, especially female factory laborers. Her investigating reporting (she was a pioneer of personally researching facts for articles) raised hackles and the ire of conservatives opposed to women voting or giving voice in any public forums. The pressures exerted on Madden soon had Nellie relegated to the gardening, society and fashion desk – the traditional subjects ordained suitable for a female journalist.

Undeterred, Nellie at 21 years of age…

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