Born to a Jamaican father and Colombian mother in Bocas Del Toro in 1916, Edmund Gobernhas lived a life filled with adversity as well as achievement. Although he was forced to leave school to work at the age of fourteen when his father, a local pharmacist, died, Gobern was nevertheless determined to get an education and to achieve the goalshe kept from his early youth. After working a variety of jobs, including lavatory manager, mortician, and messenger, Gobern finally got a chance to live the dream of “sitting in his [father’s] chair” when he worked as a pharmacist during World War II, a time during which illness was widespread, but manpower—even among pharmacists—was scarce. Heeducated himself by reading textbooks and watching the work of others, Gobern’s pharmacy work was first–rate even though he was never formerly trained, and his excellence in many fields during the course of his life is proof positive of the fact that those who are eager to learn will do so in spite of any circumstance. The ever–growing body of certificates, plaques, and other awards that take up a full wall at Gobern’s house—not to mention his numerous children, grandchildren, and great–grandchildren—serve as strong testaments to the successful life of a truly “self–made man.”
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