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Nellie Bly turns 151, Google commemorates pioneer journalist with doodle and original song

The pioneer of investigative journalism who broke ground in the industry as one of the first female reporters turns 151 Tuesday.

By Marilyn Malara
Nellie Bly turns 151, Google commemorates pioneer journalist with doodle and original song
Pioneer journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran -- Nellie Bly -- turns 151 May 5, 2015. Many consider her a pioneer in investigative journalism and muckraking. Photo by Everett Historical/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran born May 5, 1864, turns 151 today. She was a journalist known as a pioneer among her generation who did a man's job before women were even allowed to vote.

Google commemorated the prominent figure with a new doodle and original song, "Oh Nellie," written by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

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"Oh, Nellie, take us all around the world and break those rules 'cause you're our girl," O, whose real name is Karen Lee Orzolek, croons in the first original song written for a Google Doodle.

"We want to make something of ourselves, too," the song goes.

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The accompanying animation by Katy Wu portrays a cutout Bly traveling the world and making headlines and sticking up "for the one's told to shut up." Bly is also is famous for traveling the world in 72 days in an attempt to beat the fictional Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days."

Nellie Bly began her career at 16 years old, after submitting a passionate response to an 1880 article in the Pittsburgh Dispatch called "What Girls Are Good For," which berated working women in favor of a strictly domestic lifestyle for the sex. She was soon after hired by the newspaper.

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"Throughout her life and career, Nellie Bly spoke up for the underprivileged, the helpless and minorities, and defied society's expectations for women. We love her adventurous spirit, and we share her belief that women can do anything and be anything they want...," Google Doodle program manager Liat Ben-Rafael said in a statement.

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Bly is now a feminist symbol of determination and fearlessness, and inspired a generation to speak out against discrimination.

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