1965 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Learning is the passport to success."
Elmer Bobst's career began when he left his father's parsonage in Lititz, Pennsylvania, at the age of 17. He moved to Philadelphia, where he earned $3 a week clerking in a drugstore. He knew that getting an education would lead to a better future, but he did not have the funds to go to college. He purchased a set of second-hand books and proceeded to educate himself in pharmacy. By the time he was 21, he had passed both the Qualified Assistant and the Resident Manager pharmacy examinations. He next turned to law and prepared himself for a qualifying legal examination within nine months. However, he elected to remain in the pharmaceutical business and joined Hoffman-LaRoche & Company. When he retired as its president in 1944, the company was one of the giants of the industry and Bobst was one of the highest paid executives in American business. He later came out of retirement to head Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Company. In a 20-year period, Bobst directed the growth of this company to a ten-fold increase in volume. Some of the company's better known products include Listerine and Dentyne chewing gum.* Deceased