Nellie Bly – Famous for Escaping the Madhouse


Most people dream of leaving a mark on the field at the onset of their careers. However, few manage to stir up the lasting impact that they expected. Elizabeth Seaman Cochran, also known as Nellie Bly, made a lasting impact in her field and many others. Nellie Bly was a journalist in the late 19th century. It was a time when most female writers were relegated to gossip columns, but Nellie was transforming the industry.

Early in her career, she managed to go undercover and get institutionalized at a notorious New York insane asylum. The article, titled Escaping the Madhouse, was a smash hit. Her subsequent article brought about one of history’s most significant changes to the city’s mental health facilities.

It also sparked a new brand of journalism known as stunt journalism. Thousands of copycats arose, but none were as ubiquitous as Nellie Bly. Her most famous accomplishment was a series of articles chronicling her journey worldwide. It imitated Jules Verne’s famous novel Around the World in 80 Days. Bly successfully circumnavigated the globe in 72 days, a world record at the time.

Nellie Bly has become a poster child for female empowerment, especially in professional settings. Her successes are remembered to this day in the world of journalism. While much of her methods are not practiced today, they are seen as foundational pieces of journalism.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning and laughing a lot while you do, you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




Nellie Bly – Wikipedia

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