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Biography

Jim Leavesley was born and educated in the northern England seaside holiday resort of Blackpool. He graduated from Liverpool in medicine in 1953 and emigrated to Western Australia in 1957. After 33 years in general practice he and his wife Margaret retired to the vine growing area of Margaret River in the south west of the State. Here he rekindled an earlier love for history, especially the medical history of famous people, and took up the much more chancy occupation of writing about the subject. During the previous 10 years he had written a fortnightly column for the medical newspaper, Australian Doctor, but now he enlarged his horizon.

Between 1978 and 1986 and while still in active practice, he did a weekly medical talk back programme on West Australian local radio. From 1986 to date he has presented a weekly medical history segment on the radio and has been an irregular guest speaker on the Science Programmes of ABC National Radio . Out of these presentations have been published 5 books. In 1998 he teamed up with Dr George Biro and together they have written 3 books on medical history; What Killed Jane Austen, How Isaac Newton Lost His Marbles and Flies in the Ointment.

In 1993 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for 'services to medicine in general and medical history in particular'.

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