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Mark Read Dead: Notorious Aussie Criminal Known As 'Chopper' Dies

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Mark "Chopper" Read, one of Australia's most notorious crime figures, died on Wednesday. He was 58. (Photo by Jon Reid/The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

SYDNEY -- SYDNEY (AP) — Mark "Chopper" Read, one of Australia's most notorious crime figures, has died. He was 58.

Read's manager Andrew Parisi says Read died on Wednesday after a long battle with liver cancer.

Read spent 23 years of his life in prison for a variety of crimes including assault and armed robbery. He wrote more than a dozen books detailing his long career of violence, including one entitled "How to Shoot Friends and Influence People." He gained international fame in 2000 after Australian-born actor Eric Bana played him in the film "Chopper."

Read earned the nickname "Chopper" after asking a fellow inmate to slice off his ears while in prison.

He was never convicted of killing anyone, though he claimed in his books to have murdered 19 underworld figures.

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