Harold Irving Pratt

FULL NAME: Harold Irving Pratt
BORN: February 1st, 1877
DEATH: May 29th, 1939


Harold Irving Pratt was an American oil industrialist and philanthropist born on February 1st, 1877 in Brooklyn, New York to Charles Pratt and Mary Helen Richardson. He graduated from Amherst College.

Pratt was the director of Standard Oil of New Jersey (now ExxonMobil); he was interested in foreign affairs and issues with global oil trade, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1923-1939.

He was also involved in community activities; Pratt was the president of the Brooklyn Hospital’s board of trustees and the founder of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he served as treasurer of the college. In 1900, Harold Pratt donated a new natatorium (or swimming pool complex) to Amherst College.

Pratt married Harriet Barnes, who was a wealthy philanthropist, collector of Americana, and horticulturist from New York. Together, they had a son – Harold Irving Pratt, Jr. (1904-1975)

The family mansion, Welwyn, was designed by Delano & Aldrich and built in 1919 at Glen Cove, Long Island. Now called Welwyn Preserve, the estate is owned by Nassau County and open to the public. The main portion of the house now serves as the Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center.

In 1924, John Singer Sargent painted a portrait of Harold Irving Pratt, Jr.; the painting is now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. On May 29th, 1939, Pratt, Sr. died at Glen Cove of pneumonia.

During World War II, a Liberty ship was named in honor of Harold Irving Pratt – #3044 Harold I. Pratt. Harriet Barnes Pratt donated the mansion to the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1944. It was named the Harold Pratt House, and it continues to serve as the center for the CFR.

The greenhouse on the property is currently abandoned.

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