Australia’s first celebrity doctor James Wright passed away on 27 November, aged 94.
Dr Wright is believed to have died peacefully in his sleep, just two weeks before his 95th birthday.
A truly beloved personality, Wright was a familiar face and voice for millions of Australians through his extensive media presence including TV, radio and print publication.
He appeared regularly on ‘The Mike Walsh Show’ and was resident doctor for ‘The Midday Show’ for a 25-year tenure, dispensing health advice and demystifying complex medical issues.
Dr Wright also hosted programmes on radio stations 2UE and 2GB, along with countless contributions to newspapers and magazines, and publishing more than 30 books.
He was a trusted medical professional with a cheery demeanour, earning himself the nickname ‘the merry medic’.
James Wright was born John Franklin Knight in 1927 in Brisbane and raised in Sydney, where he studied medicine at University of Sydney. While practising as a GP, he started his TV career as a local correspondent for the ABC.
As a doctor he was not allowed to use his real name and adopted the pseudonym Dr James Wright. His TV career exceeds those of many of Australia’s best-known personalities, surviving the transition from black-and-white to colour transmission.
Dr Wright devoted his life to helping people, establishing the non-profit charity Medi-Aid Centre Foundation in 1973 alongside his late wife Noreen. The organisation provides accommodation for elderly Australians across all socio-economic levels, with a focus on those with no other means of support or funding.
Dr James Wright is fondly remembered for his charm, humour and affable nature, with tributes flowing from the realms of medicine and media alike.