Prior to joining the commission, Read practiced law and was a senior partner in the firm of Archer, Greiner & Read in Haddonfield. He served as president of the New Jersey Bar Association and had also served on the Cinnaminson zoning board.
Read graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1939 and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1941. Immediately after completing law school, Read enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served during World War II. After the war, he continued to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1963 when he retired as a lieutenant commander.
Read died of cancer on December 21, 2001 at the age of 83.