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Biographical entry Wright, Peter (1932 - 2003)

MRCS 1955; FRCS 1964; MB BS London 1955; DO 1959; LRCP 1955; FRCOphth 1989; FRCP 1994.

7 September 1932
London, UK
26 May 2003


Peter Wright was a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Hospital and a former President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. He was born in London on 7 September 1932, the son of William Victor Wright and Ada Amelie (née Craze). He was educated at St Clement Danes, and then went on to study medicine at King’s, London. After house jobs at King’s and Guy’s Maudsley neurosurgical unit, he joined the RAF for his National Service and became an ophthalmic specialist. He returned to Guy’s as a lecturer in anatomy and physiology, and then went to Moorfields to train in ophthalmology. He was appointed as a senior registrar at King’s and made a consultant in 1964. In 1973, he was appointed to Moorfields as a consultant, and in 1978 became full-time there. In 1980, he was appointed clinical sub-dean at the Institute of Ophthalmology.

At Moorfields he was responsible for the external disease service, dealing with infection and inflammation in the anterior part of the eye. His research included collaborative studies on skin and eye diseases, and ocular immunity. These led to the identification of the Practolol oculocutaneous reaction, work that gave him an ongoing interest in adverse drug reactions.

He was invited to lecture all over the world, and was a visiting professor at universities in India and Brazil. In 1991, he became the second President of the College of Ophthalmologists, and it was under his presidency that the College was granted a royal licence. He was the last President of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, President of the ophthalmic section of the Royal Society of Medicine, ophthalmic adviser to the chief medical officer and consultant adviser to the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain. He received many honorary awards.

In 1960, he married Elaine Catherine Donoghue, a consultant psychiatrist, by whom he had two daughters, Fiona and Candice, and one son Andrew, who sadly died in the Lockerbie air disaster. There are two granddaughters. His marriage was dissolved in 1992 and in the following year Peter retired from Moorfields and moved with his partner John Morris to Bovey Tracey, where he had time to renovate his Devon house and enjoy his major interest, classical music. He was an excellent pianist, superb cook, and fine host. He was a keen gardener and a founder member of the Nerine and Amaryllid Society of the Royal Horticultural Society. He died on 26 May 2003 from the complications of myeloid leukaemia.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2003 327 398, with portrait; The Times 24 July 2003.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England