Australia’s first celebrity physician, Dr John ‘Merry Medic’ Wright dies, age 94

Nov 29, 2022
Source: Twitter/@zaphski

Australians are in mourning today following the passing of Australia’s first celebrity doctor, Dr John Wright, at the age of 94.

The beloved physician and media personality reportedly died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 27, a mere two weeks shy of his 95th birthday.

Affectionately known as the “Merry Medic Dr James Wright”, the popular physician originally had aspirations to become a journalist before choosing to study medicine at the University of Sydney and pursue a medical career. Upon his graduation in 1953, Wright moved to Tottenham in rural New South Wales to become the town’s general practitioner.

Given the isolated nature of the town, Dr Wright filled the roles of surgeon, obstetrician, counsellor, pharmacist and also performed duties as the town’s local vet before getting married to Noreen Weslake and returning to Sydney to establish his medical practice.

His writing talents saw him publish medical columns in numerous publications such as Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, The Sunday Mail, The Sunday Telegraph and The Melbourne Herald Sun among many other.

Dr Wright made his first foray into television on the Mike Walsh Show in 1972. He quickly secured a regular segment on the program and remained with the show when it became The Midday Show with Ray Martin as host

With the popularity of his television segments it wasn’t long before radio came calling and Dr Wright soon began hosting two-hour weekly programs for 2GB and 2UE.

On top of his stellar accomplishments in the medial and media arenas, Dr Wright was also an accomplished author having written 30 books.

In recognition of his many accomplishments, Dr Wright was awarded an Order of Australia in 1998 and was later nominated as NSW’s Senior Australian of the Year in 2017.

Dr Wright was beloved by the Australian public for his prowess in breaking down complicated medical jargon into a straightforward and understandable manner, while taking the viewing public on a journey into the latest medical advances and emerging health concerns.

The Australian public’s affection for Dr Wright was on full display after an outpouring of grief and messages of love and support flooded social media following his passing.


Dr Wright is survived by his four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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