Patrick Wright was born 28 June 1931, the son of the late Herbert H. S. Wright and of Rachel Wright (née Green), Haslemere, Surrey; he was educated at Marlborough and Merton College (Postmaster), Oxford (MA; Honorary Fellow, 1987). In 1958 he married Virginia Anne Gaffney.
After serving in the Royal Artillery, 1950-51, Wright joined the Diplomatic Service in 1955. His career included: Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies, 1956-57; Third Secretary, British Embassy, Beirut [Lebanon], 1958-60; Private Secretary to Ambassador and later First Secretary, British Embassy, Washington [United States], 1960-65; Private Secretary to Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign Office, 1965-67; First Secretary and Head of Chancery, Cairo [Egypt], 1967-70; Deputy Political Resident, Bahrain, 1971-72; Head of Middle East Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1972-74; Private Secretary (Overseas Affairs) to Prime Minister, 1974-77; Ambassador to: Luxembourg, 1977-79; Syria, 1979-81; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1982-84; Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1984-86; Permanent Under-Secretary of State and Head of Diplomatic Service, 1986-91. Member, Security Commission, 1993-2002.
Wright was created a life-peer in 1994. His other honours include: GCMG 1989 (KCMG 1984; CMG 1978).