Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

Entrepreneur / Author

Gardner Rich, LLC, Christopher Gardner Media

Chicago, IL USA

We all come from some place we didn't necessarily choose, but we can choose where we're going, and we can lead those behind us by example.


By Roadtrip Nation

Chris Gardner


My road in life took a while to figure out.
One of his earliest memories was of his stepfather kicking him out of the house at gunpoint on Christmas Day.
Although everyone expected him to become his alcoholic, illiterate, abusive stepfather, he made a decision to say, "This stops with me."
Joined the Navy after high school; says that until he went into the military, the worst violence he'd ever seen was in his own home.
Says most people keep their skeletons in their closets, but he keeps his on his mantlepiece, looks at them everyday and says, "No, you didn't."
In his effort to make a better life for himself, he took an unpaid position at Dean Witter, the largest stock brokerage firm in America.
Although the job would pay off in the long run, as a single father, the lack of salary left him homeless; lived in an Oakland BART station on and off for a year.
Eventually he started his own brokerage firm, went back to BART, gave a presentation to their investors, and won their business.
Wrote a book called The Pursuit of Happyness based on his life's struggles and triumphs; it was later developed into a film, and starred Will Smith.
Keep following my journey


High School


Entrepreneur / Author

Dreamer. Father. Entrepreneur. Author. Pursuing happyness, one step at a time.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

As a CEO, I oversee our business and investment ventures in a variety of markets. I do frequent public speaking events where I introduce people to the concepts of Spiritual Genetics and the Universal Dream. I also sponsor several nonprofits and philanthropic ventures. In addition to financial assistance, I make myself available for permanent job placement assistance, career counseling and comprehensive job training for the homeless population and at-risk communities of Chicago.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

I'd recommend going to college or a trade school. Get an education at any cost because it can only help you.


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"You are going to be just like your stepfather. "

Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence
Single Parent

Interviewed By

Ready to Rise

Ready to Rise

Confronting systemic barriers to success