Polly Pry ruffled feathers when she worked to free a convicted cannibal Alfred “Alferd” Packer and for her stories about the cattle barons who allegedly hired assassin Tom Horn. She earned both praise and enmity when she battled the powerful Telluride miners’ union. She was nearly murdered more than once. And a younger female colleague once said, “Polly Pry did not just report the news, she made it!”
If only that young reporter had known how true her words were. Polly Pry got her start not just writing the news but inventing it. In spite of herself, however, Campbell would become a respected journalist and activist later in her career. She would establish herself as a champion for rights of the under served in the early twentieth century, taking up the causes of women, children, laborers, victims and soldiers of war, and prisoners. And she wrote some of the most sensational stories that westerners had ever read, all while keeping the truth behind her success a secret from her colleagues and closest friends and family.