In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Muhammad’s birth
The Muhammad Ali Center is proud to announce a $2 million donation from businessman Anthony Pratt, owner and chairman of Georgia-based Pratt Industries, the fifth largest corrugated packaging company and world’s largest privately-held 100% recycled paper and packaging company.
This significant donation comes in correlation with what would have been Muhammad Ali’s 80th birthday and is intended to be used to further the programs and work of the Ali Center. Pratt was a founding patron of the Ali Center and has had a longtime friendship with Lonnie and Muhammad Ali.
“I am extremely grateful for Anthony’s generous donation to the Muhammad Ali Center in honor of Muhammad’s 80th birthday. It is very moving,” said Lonnie Ali, co-founder and vice chair of the Muhammad Ali Center. “When Muhammad and I opened the Center more than sixteen years ago, we envisioned it to be a place where Muhammad’s legacy would provide inspiration to all people to achieve their own personal greatness, whether on-site or virtually. Anthony’s gift will allow the Center to continue its current endeavors while providing resources to expand our reach within our community and far beyond with new and impactful initiatives. Anthony was always a good friend to Muhammad while he was alive. Today, he continues to honor and celebrate Muhammad and his legacy.”
Pratt’s philanthropic efforts are centered around a strong belief in giving back to the community—whether that means “to neighbors next door or strangers on the other side of the world.” He has generously donated money, time, resources, and manpower to a myriad of charities, environmental groups and relief organizations. Having visited the Ali Center on several occasions, Pratt has been impressed with the Center’s youth programming efforts and other related initiatives that provide opportunities for the community to learn more about Muhammad Ali’s legacy and the importance of his principles, especially during this turbulent time in our society.
“I first met Muhammad in 1996 and was proud to call him my friend for the last 20 years of his life,” said Mr. Pratt, “and the Ali Center has been very close to my heart during this time. Muhammad’s legacy of promoting better understanding among people of all races and faiths and to encourage our young people to be all that they can be is important to me. I am proud to announce this $2 million donation and to know that Pratt Industries has made a positive difference. Muhammad Ali was The Greatest, and his legacy lives on.”
Marilyn Jackson, who starts her new role as President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center today, said “I am extremely grateful that I am able to start my journey with such a generous gift from Anthony. I look forward to working with our Board of Directors, donors, leadership, and the Louisville community in developing an aspirational strategic plan that will propel the Center forward and enrich the lives of our community and state in ways that Lonnie and Muhammad always envisioned. It is a privilege and honor to be a part of this organization and to steward Muhammad’s legacy in ways that will make Anthony and Pratt Industries proud.”
“Today, Anthony has demonstrated his compassion and generosity through this $2 million donation,” said Robert Croft, Chairman of the Board of the Muhammad Ali Center. “While the COVID pandemic has created challenges for many cultural institutions around the country, we have always operated with the same level of dedication as Muhammad Ali did, and believe that with struggle comes strength. We are committed to expanding our programming and Muhammad’s footprint on the world and we wholeheartedly thank Anthony for supporting our mission.”
About Anthony Pratt
Anthony Pratt is an Australian-born businessman and sole owner of Pratt Industries which he founded in the USA more than 30 years ago. He is also executive chairman and co-owner of its Australian affiliate, Visy, which his grandfather established in Australia in 1949. It employs 7,000 people at more than 100 sites around Australia.
Anthony is a dedicated philanthropist with a strong interest in children’s issues, sustainable agriculture and food security. He divides his time between New York City and Melbourne, Australia.
About Pratt Industries
Pratt Industries is America’s 5th largest corrugated packaging company and the world’s largest, privately-held 100% recycled paper and packaging company, with more than 10,000 highly-skilled, green-collar employees dedicated to the environment and sustainability.
Pratt has factories in 25 states and has built 5 of the last 7 paper mills in the USA. Its operations save the equivalent of 85,000 trees a day.