Denis Wright was born 23 March 1911, the son of A. E. Wright of Hong Kong, and Margery Hepworth Chapman, of York. He was educated at Brentwood School, then St Edmund Hall, Oxford (Honorary Fellow 1972), and in 1939 married Iona Craig, of Bolney, Sussex; they have no children.
After working as Assistant Advertising Manager to Gallaher and Company (Tobacco Manufacturers), between 1935 and 1939, Wright was employed from the outbreak of war in the Diplomatic service. His career included: Vice-Consul on economic warfare work at Constantza [Romania], (1939-41); Vice-Consul-in-charge at Trebizond [Turkey], (1941-43); Acting-Consul-in-charge, Mersin [Turkey], (1943-45); First Secretary (Commercial), Belgrade [Yugoslavia, later Serbia], (1946-48); Superintending Trade Consul at Chicago for Middle-Western Region of United States, (1949-51); Head of Economic Relations Department in the Foreign Office, (1951-53); appointed Chargé d'Affaires, Tehran [Iran], on resumption of diplomatic relations with Persia, (December 1953); Counsellor, Tehran, (1954-55); Assistant Under-Secretary, FO, (1955-59); Ambassador to Ethiopia, (1959-62); Assistant Under-Secretary, FO, (1962); Ambassador to Iran, (1963-71). He died in May 2005.