Kelly was born in Victoria (Australia) to an Irish Convict father, and as a young man he clashed with the Victoria Police. Following an incident at his home in 1878, police parties searched for him in the bush. After he and his colleagues killed three policemen, the colonial government proclaimed Kelly and his gang wanted outlaw's.
A final violent confrontation with police took place at Glenrowan, Victoria on 28 June 1880. Kelly, dressed in home-made plate metal armour and a helmet, was captured and sent to gaol. He was convicted of three counts of wilful murder and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in November 1880. His daring and notoriety made him an Cultural icon figure in Australian history, folklore, literature, art and film.
In August 2011, anthropologists announced that a skeleton found in a mass grave in Pentridge Prison had been confirmed as Kelly's. His skull, however, remains missing.