The Fort Worth native began his work life at 18 as a sports writer for the Fort Worth Press. He also was a radio and television producer. At 24, Read founded Read-Poland Inc. He moved the public relations and government affairs firm to Austin in 1966. In 2001, the firm merged with GCI Global. When GCI and Cohn & Wolfe united in 2008, Read became chairman of Cohn & Wolfe. Over the years, Read has been involved with scores of projects, including the San Antonio World's Fair, the launch of Southwest Airlines (he still has an original bag of peanuts) and the opening of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in the 1970s. He also worked on the South Texas Nuclear Project and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
He has held positions the Heritage Society of Austin and Texas Governor's Mansion Restoration Fund. Read was an adviser to John Connally when Connally was governor, which is why he was in Dallas when Kennedy was killed.
He also helped with campaigns for former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes and Loeffler and worked for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Wright, who would become speaker of the House of Representatives.