Spoiled Children of Divorce


Nellie Bly
December 25, 2007, 6:57 am
Filed under: Exemplary Children of Divorce | Tags:

Nellie Bly was a 19th century journalist, author, industrialist and charity worker. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1864 to an upper middle class family. Her Father died when she was 6 and left a great deal of his money to his children from his previous marriage so her family struggled with financial problems. Her Mother remarried an abusive man when Bly was 9 and then divorced him for this reason when Nellie was 14. Nellie had to testify at the trial and this had a deep impact on her. Bly became a journalist when she wrote a letter to the Editor of her newspaper in regards to a chavinist opinion in one of its articles. From then on spoke out on behalf of the underprivileged. She took her name from a Stephen Foster song “Nellie Bly.”

Bly reported on bad working conditions of female factory workers and took off to Mexico by herself to work as a foreign correspondent. She had herself committed to an insane asylum in order to report on the deplorable conditions in a famous Mental institution for her famous piece “10 days in a Madhouse.” This led to huge government reforms. Probably her greatest stunt was traveling around the world by herself in 72 days as inspired by the Jules Verne novel. She became a huge media star.

Bly married a man who was more than 40 years her senior and and took over his company after he died. She applied for several patents and was known for a time as one of the leading female industrialists of her time. It seems she wasn’t gifted with money management skills, though, and declared Bankruptcy. After this time she returned to Journalism and Charity work.


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