More than 130 years after his execution, the legend of Ned Kelly lives on
Born in Victoria to an Irish convict father, the young Ned started his criminal career at 14 and was jailed for three years at 16 for a run-in with a policeman for stealing a horse. In 1890, Ned Kelly was hanged at 25 in the Melbourne Gaol, two years after the shooting of three policemen and the spate of outlandish bank robberies. It was from these killings and robberies where the legend of Ned Kelly, bushranger, antihero, and an icon of a nation, was born. The Kelly gang's last stand, at Glenrowan in Victoria, is at the very core of Australian folklore. The homemade armor that Ned donned in his last stand against the police force is an Australian icon and the subject of many stories and famous artworks. This year, 2013, sees Ned Kelly finally laid to rest in consecrated ground, as was his final wish.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald. He is also a regular TV commentator, a former radio presenter (very successfully, with Mike Carlton on Radio 2UE) and is also a former national representative rugby union player. Peter is the author of over 20 books - including Tobruk, Kokoda, Batavia, Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age, Ned Kelly and biographies of Nancy Wakee Kim Beazleye Nick Farr-Jonese Les Darcy, Steve Waugh and John Eales. Peter is Australia's biggest-selling non-fiction author of the last ten years. Peter was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations. He lives with his wife, Lisa Wilkinson, and their three children in Sydney. His forthcoming book is Gallipoli. History comes to life with Peter FitzSimons.