Edwin T. Pratt

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Edwin T. Pratt (December 6, 1930 – January 26, 1969) was an American activist during the Civil Rights Movement. At the time of his assassination in 1969, he was Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League.[1][2]


Born in Miami, Florida, Pratt received his bachelor's degree from Clark College (Atlanta, Georgia) and his master's in social work from Atlanta University. He worked for the Urban League in Cleveland, Ohio and Kansas City, Missouri before arriving in Seattle in 1956 to be the Seattle league's Community Relations Secretary. In 1961, he became the Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League. Among his achievements was the Triad Plan for the desegregation of the Seattle Public Schools; he also led an initiative for equal housing opportunities.[1][2]

Pratt was killed outside his home in Shoreline, Washington, a suburb immediately north of Seattle. Two men were involved in the shooting; it is presumed that a third drove the getaway car. It is still unknown who killed him; they were reportedly young men, but not even their race is certain.[2] However, Seattle Weekly reported in May 2011 that the Pratt case was essentially solved, naming the three men involved in the shooting and the person who may have paid for it, a black contractor, although the ex-wife of the getaway driver maintained that the gunman killed Pratt purely for racial motives, not money.

Pratt was survived by his wife, Bettye, his son Bill, and his daughter Miriam Katherine, who was five years old at the time of his death.[2]

He is commemorated today by Seattle's Pratt Park and by the Pratt Fine Arts Center, which is partially in that park.[1][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "A Lasting Tribute", Pratt Fine Arts Center quarterly class schedule, Winter 2004, p.1.
  2. ^ a b c d Heather Trescases, "Edwin Pratt is murdered outside of his Shoreline home on January 26, 1969", HistoryLink.org Essay 4142, February 15, 2003, accessed online 23 February 2007.
  3. ^ Pratt Park, Seattle Parks and Recreation. Accessed 23 February 2007.

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