Ted, as many of us came to call him, was born a Creole on September 19, 1936 in Freetown, Sierra Leone; he was christened Theodore Allantantu Emmanuel Cyril Pratt. His parents, Elizabeth Jane Horton Pratt and Daniel Gershon Pratt were traders; his father later became a government employed accountant. Both valued education and as middle class people sought the best schools in Sierra Leone for their bright son. Ted spent most of his early childhood in his mother's extended family while his parents were in "up country" operating their business. The Hortons had had a long history in Sierra Leone as prominent government officials, professionals, and educators. Ted learned to love sacred and classical music while living with the Hortons, where the girls in the family were taught piano and the boys were taught organ. In addition to learning music, he also learned soccer and taught himself tennis.
Ted's formal education was acquired on three continents: Africa, Europe, and North America. He received pre-college education at the prestigious Prince of Wales School in Freetown with an emphasis on the teaching of science. His post secondary education was at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone; Durham University in Britain; Hampton Institute in Virginia, and Carnegie-Mellon Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. He received his Ph. D. in Nuclear Physics at Carnegie-Mellon and was admitted to the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. He was the first person from Sierra Leone to earn a Ph. D. in Nuclear Physics.
Dr. Pratt died in Normal, Illinois on October 30, 1996, but his love for classical music lives on through the Pratt Music Foundation.
Pratt Music Foundation
c/o Illinois Wesleyan University
PO Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900