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Steve Brodie (Bridge Jumper)
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    (December 25, 1861-January 31, 1901)
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    Former newspaper boy
    Allegedly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge (July 23, 1886)
    Became a saloon owner and actor
    Appeared in the plays ‘Mad Money’ (1891) and ‘On the Bowery’ (1894)
    Portrayed by George Raft in ‘The Bowery’ (1933)
    His feat cashed in on the notoriety of swimmer Robert Odlum having been killed making the jump a year earlier (May 19, 1885).
    He was rumored to have faked the jump by having a friend throw a dummy off the Bridge while he swam from one of the piers out to the rescue boats.
    When boxer James J. Corbett introduced him to his father Patrick, the elder Corbett greeted him with, ‘So, you’re the man who jumped over the Brooklyn Bridge?’ After Brodie explained that he had jumped off it, Patrick Corbett replied, ‘I thought you jumped over it. Any fool could jump off it.’
    The New York Times claimed his jump was witnessed by two reporters.
    He was a clever self-promoter who managed to milk what should have been fifteen minutes of fame into a long-term career.
    He became a popular symbol of Manhattan’s Bowery district.
    He inspired a slang phrase, ‘do a Brodie,’ meaning to take a chance (especially an extremely dangerous one).

Credit: C. Fishel

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