JWR "Bill" Pratt was born in the outer Melbourne suburb of Frankston in 1925. His happy school years were interrupted by the outbreak of World War Two and in 1943, after studying Civil Engineering for one year at RMIT, he joined the RAAF. At the end of the war, he returned to his studies. He guided Pratts Supermarts for 15 years, and became Chairman and Managing Director of Safeway Australia in 1965. When the company merged with Woolworths in 1985, Bill Pratt was appointed to the Woolworths Board to oversee the Safeway 20 per cent holding. In 1993, he was appointed a Member in the General Division Order of Australia (AM).