Oliver Wright was born 6 March 1921; he was educated at Solihull School and Christ's College, Cambridge (MA; Honorary Fellow 1981). In 1942 he married Lillian Marjory Osborne.
After serving in the RNVR, 1941-45, Wright joined the Diplomatic Service, in November 1945. His diplomatic career included: New York [United States], 1946-47; Bucharest [Romania], 1948-50; Singapore, 1950-51; Foreign Office, 1952-54; Berlin [Germany], 1954-56; Pretoria [South Africa], 1957-58; Imperial Defence College, 1959; Assistant Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1960; Counsellor and Private Secretary, 1963; Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, 1964-66 (to Rt Hon. Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and subsequently to Rt Hon. Harold Wilson); Ambassador to Denmark, 1966-69; seconded to Home Office as UK Representative to Northern Irish Government, August 1969-March 1970; Chief Clerk, Diplomatic Service, 1970-72; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1972-75; Ambassador to Federal Republic of Germany, 1975-81; retired, then re-appointed, Ambassador to Washington, 1982-86.
He was awarded the GCMG 1981 (KCMG 1974; CMG 1964); GCVO 1978; DSC 1944.