Chris Gardner is the author of the 2006 autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, 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 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: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, was published in May 2009.
In the fall of 2010, Chris Gardner was named the Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness for AARP, which has nearly 40 million members worldwide. As a single parent for 25 years, Gardner has demonstrated his concern for the well-being of children through his work with and on behalf of organizations such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Education Association Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. Gardner is still very committed to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco; where he and his son received assistance in the early 1980’s.
Always hard working and tenacious, a series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980’s left Chris 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.
After 30 years, in 25 of which he ran his own brokerage firm, and with nothing else to accomplish, he decided to exit the brokerage business and focus on his speaking engagements and media projects. With these, Chris specializes helping others achieve their full potential. His message is clear: If Chris Gardner can do it, so can you. 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.
“Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something. Not even me”
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Do something that you love. Whatever you’re going to do is going to be tough enough. Find something that gets you so excited that the sun can’t come up early enough in the morning because you want to go do your thing.