By her twenties, Nellie Bly was one of the most influential investigative journalists in the world. The show American Horror Story: Asylum features the intrepid muckraker Nora Winters, who is clearly based on Bly.
Nellie Bly (the pen-name of Elizabeth Jane Cochrane) started her career writing investigative articles on the plight of women working in factories. Editorial insisted that, since she was female, she would be better suited to writing about topics like fashion and cooking. Both Bly and the fictional Winters resisted these assignments–besides, they were terrible at cooking.