Christopher Gardner is the owner and CEO of brokerage firm Gardner Rich LLC with
offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Conquering grave challenges to
become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is a bestselling author and avid inspirational
speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is
also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed
Gardner is the author of the 2006 autobiography, The Persuit of Happyness, a New York
Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller that has been translated into over thirty
languages. Gardner is also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie “The Pursuit of
Happyness” 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: LW Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to
Where You Want to Be, was published in May 2009.
In the fall of 2010, Gardner was named the Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness for
AARP, which has nearly 40 million members worldwide.
Always hard working and tenacious, a series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980’s
left Gardner homeless in San Francisco as the sole guardian of his oldder 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.
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, and financial illiteracy;
issues of the utmost importance to Gardner.
He lives in Chicago and New York.
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