Steve Brodie

Steve Brodie

The American who jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge
Date of Birth: 25.12.1861
Country: USA

  1. Steve Brodie: The Daredevil of Brooklyn Bridge
  2. Early Life
  3. The Infamous Jump
  4. The Legend and Controversy
  5. Fame and Legacy
  6. Later Years

Steve Brodie: The Daredevil of Brooklyn Bridge

Early Life

Steve Brodie was born on December 25, 1861, in New York City, shortly after his Irish parents immigrated to the United States. He lived a relatively unremarkable life until he turned 25.

Steve Brodie

The Infamous Jump

In July 23, 1886, Steve Brodie claimed to have jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived. This daring feat gained widespread publicity through newspaper publications and catapulted Brodie into the limelight. Inspired by his alleged jump, Brodie opened a bar in the dangerous Bowery district, which became immensely popular.

The Legend and Controversy

According to reports, Brodie trained for the jump by practicing less dangerous leaps from other bridges and ship masts. Two reporters claimed to have witnessed his dive into the East River, where he emerged unscathed but experienced pain in his right side. Skeptics doubted the authenticity of the jump, suggesting that Brodie's friend threw a mannequin off the bridge while Brodie himself jumped from a boat and resurfaced when rescue boats approached. Despite the controversy, Brodie repeated his stunt in 1888 by jumping off Poughkeepsie's Railroad Bridge.

Fame and Legacy

Brodie capitalized on his newfound fame by starring in vaudeville shows such as "Mad Money" and "On the Bowery" where he reenacted his legendary jump on stage. His bar became a popular tourist attraction and museum, displaying sketches of his jump, the clothing he wore, and a sworn statement from the barge captain who rescued him. Brodie's name even entered slang, with phrases like "pull a Brodie" or "do a Steve Brodie" meaning to do something daring and dangerous.

Later Years

Steve Brodie passed away on January 31, 1901, in San Antonio, Texas, from tuberculosis. He was buried alongside his wife Bridget, who died two years after his famous jump at the age of 26, and their unnamed son. George Raft portrayed Brodie in the 1933 film "The Bowery." Despite the controversy surrounding his jump, Steve Brodie's legacy as the daredevil of Brooklyn Bridge lives on.