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Home | PoliticalMakers | The Honorable Marvin Pratt
Color: Blue, and also green
Food: Chicken
Quote: Civility is not a sign of weakness.
Season: October, football season
Vacation Destination: New Orleans
Dallas, Texas United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 02/20/2017 |and| 02/24/2017

Mayor Marvin Pratt was born on May 26, 1944 in Dallas, Texas to Leon Pratt, Sr. and Mildred Joyce Pratt. In 1959, Pratt’s family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he would graduate from North Division High School in 1962. After his graduation from high school, Pratt enlisted in the Air Force, where he served until the mid-1960s. He then enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee and earned his B.A. degree in political science in 1972.

Pratt began his political career directly out of college and interned for the mayor of Milwaukee, Henry Maier. By 1984, he ran for political office for the first time, for an alderman seat on the Milwaukee Common Council. Although he lost the election, Pratt ran for the position again in a 1986 special election and won. While on the Common Council, he created the Residents Preference Program in 1991. In 2000, Pratt became President of the Common Council. Only four years later, he was appointed as the first African American mayor of Milwaukee. Pratt filled the position of interim mayor after Mayor John Norquist resigned amid a scandal. However, Pratt did not win the 2004 mayoral election and served only a few months as interim mayor until the end of Norquist’s term. In 2006, Pratt founded his own consulting company, Marvin Pratt and Associates LLC. He was then appointed as interim Milwaukee County Executive in 2011, which he served as from February until April of that year. His appointment to made him the first person to hold a position as mayor and as county executive in Milwaukee.

Pratt has also served the Milwaukee community outside of his career and has been honored for his contributions and service. Pratt has served as the Executive Director of V.E. Carter Development Group and as a board member of Christ the King Credit Union in Milwaukee. In 2016, Milwaukee Public Schools named an elementary after Pratt. Silver Spring Elementary was renamed Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School.

Pratt lives with his wife Dianne in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have two children, Michael Pratt and Andrea Pratt-Ellzey.

Marvin Pratt was interviewed by The HIstoryMakers on February 20, 2017 and February 24, 2017.

Speaker Bureau Notes: