Woman of the Week: Nellie Bly

We chose Nellie Bly as our Woman of the Week for her incredible achievements, most notably in writing. Badass with a pen? Sounds familiar ;)

Born Elizabeth Cochran in 1864 Pennsylvania, Nellie is best known for being a pioneer in investigative journalism, but she was also an inventor and record breaker. At 19, after writing a fiercely passionate response to the bullshit, pardon me, chauvinistic column titled "What Girls Are Good For" in the Pittsburgh Dispatch, Nellie was recruited to begin writing for the Dispatch. From there her journalism career launched.

Initially assigned to writing about 'womanly interests' (gardening, society, fashion, etc.), Nellie was not satisfied and chose instead to become a foreign correspondent in Mexico and write for 6 months about Mexican culture. After returning to the states, Nellie was again asked to write fluff pieces, but was having none of it. She instead snagged an undercover job for the New York World, where she faked insanity and was admitted to an asylum, where she stayed for 10 days. Nellie's report on the conditions inside the asylum were horrifying and led to many reforms.

Her next move was to take a page out of Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days--and we mean this most literallyExcept it only took Nellie 72 days. Which was the world record at the time. And she traveled alone. Looks like girls are good for quite a bit!

Later in Life, Nellie reported on women's suffrage movements in Europe during WWI and dabbled in inventing by patenting a new milk can and garbage can. In 1922, at age 57, Nellie died of pneumonia, but left her mark on the world in more ways than one.

Nellie Bly, you're so fly, you're so fly you blow our minds...