Submitted by ub on Tue, 05/05/2015 - 05:45

Where are all the reporters who defend the poor and condemned the corrupt? Who helped launch a new kind of investigative journalism? It was a woman and she would have celebrated her 151 birthday today.

She was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864 in Cochran's Mills, Pennsylvania. The similarity between her surname and her birthplace was no coincidence: the town was named after its most prominent citizen, her father Michael Cochran, a wealthy landowner, judge, and businessman. He had ten children by his first wife. After she died, he married again and had five more children, the third of which was Elizabeth, considered the most rebellious child in the family.

American journalist Elizabeth Cochrane also known as Nellie Bly was born in Pittsburgh on May 5, 1864, and a scathing letter to the editor to protest a misogynistic article exhibiting mistreatment of women that launched her remarkable career.

The editor for the Pittsburgh Dispatch offered her a job at the paper where Cochrane began to use the pen-name Nellie Bly.

She developed a reputation as a defender of the marginalized, covering slums, conditions for working girls and got expelled from Mexico for exposing official corruption south of the border..

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