Elizabeth Jane Cochran (Nellie Bly), circa 1884.
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Formal portrait of a young Nellie Bly, seated.

Credit: Image donated by Corbis-Bettmann

After moving from Cochran's Mills to Pittsburgh, Jane Cochran made her journalistic debut as the "Lonely Orphan Girl" in a letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch criticizing a column that suggested women should stay at home and not work. Recognizing her talent, the newspaper's editor gave her a column that appeared under the pen name "Nellie Bly," which she took from a Stephen Foster song.

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