Remembered for his leadership during the early years of the Latter Day Saint (LDS) movement, he was a prominent member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, an LDS group that organized a successful Mormon mission to England during the late 1830s and early 1840s.
A native of Burlington, New York, he relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, with his first wife, Thankful Halsey. At the time, he belonged to the Disciples of Christ religious group; he converted to Mormonism in 1830.
An author as well as a religious leader, he published an 1835 poetry collection that included numerous pieces that later became the texts for Mormon hymns.
A polygamist, he had twelve wives and thirty children. In 1857, he died at the hands of Hector McLean, a man who was technically still married to Pratt's twelfth wife, Eleanor Jane McLean.
His direct descendent (great-great grandson), Republican politician Mitt Romney, ran for the office of President of the United States in 2012.