Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read (November 17, 1954 - October 9, 2013) was an Australian mobster who was born in Melbourne, Victoria. During his criminal career in the Melbourne mafia scene, he was convicted of many crimes, including armed robbery, assault, attempted murder, arson, impersonating a police officer and kidnapping. Read retired from a life of crime and wrote a series of fiction books based on his life as a criminal.
Read started his criminal career as a child; robbing drug dealers as a teenager. During this time he was the leader of a gang. While in prison as an adult, Read made another prisoner cut off his ears so he could leave prison where a gang wanted to have him killed. Read claims that he killed 19 people during his time as a criminal. His first book was written in 1991 while he was in prison. In 2000, a movie called Chopper was made about Read's life and based on his books, it stars Eric Bana as Read.