Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and single parent whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations.
Always hard working and tenacious, a series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980`s left Gardner homeless in San Francisco and the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dreams of success, Gardner climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom. He worked at Dean Witter Reynolds and Bear Stearns & Co before founding the brokerage firm Gardner Rich in Chicago in 1987.
Gardner is the author of the 2006 autobiography “The Pursuit of Happiness”, a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller that has been translated into over forty languages. Gardner is also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” for which Will Smith, starring as Gardner, received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for his performance. Gardner’s second bestselling book “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” was published in May 2009.
Chris Gardner’s aim, through his speaking engagements and media projects, is to help others achieve their full potential. He is a passionate philanthropist committed to organizations combating violence against women, homelessness, financial illiteracy and providing access to medical care and treatment - issues of the utmost importance to Gardner.
In fall of 2010, Gardner was named the Ambassador of Pursuit and Happiness for AARP, which has nearly 40 million members worldwide.