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Chris Gardner

Inspiration for the Film "The Pursuit of Happyness", NAACP Image Awards Recipient

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 Chris Gardner Biography

Chris Gardner is the owner and CEO Chris Gardner, Inc. Conquering grave challenges to become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is an avid motivational and aspirational speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations.

The amazing story of Gardner's life was published as an autobiography, "The Pursuit of Happyness," in May 2006, and became a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller. In paperback, the book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into more than thirty languages. Gardner was also the inspiration for the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness," released by Columbia Pictures in December 2006. Will Smith starred as Gardner and received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his performance. Gardner was an associate producer on the film.

In his second New York Times bestselling book, "Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be," published in May 2009, Gardner shared his philosophies on, and the crucial steps behind, creating a fulfilling, successful life. The book provided a much-needed blueprint for navigating tumultuous times with positivity, courage, tenacity, discipline and common sense. The book was released in paperback in May 2010.

In the fall of 2010, Gardner was named the Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness for AARP, which has nearly 40 million members worldwide. His mission is to share his hard-won wisdom to encourage the 50+ audience to pursue new challenges, search for fulfillment at any stage of life, or craft the legacy they want to leave behind.

Born February 9, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christopher Paul Gardner's childhood was marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy. Gardner published his autobiography out of a desire to shed light on these universal issues and show they do not have to define you. Gardner never knew his father, and lived with his beloved mother, Bettye Jean Triplett (nee Gardner), when not in foster homes. Gardner is indebted to Bettye Jean for his success as she provided him with strong "spiritual genetics" and taught him that in spite of where he came from, he could chart another path and attain whatever goals he set for himself.

Gardner joined the Navy out of high school and after discharge moved to San Francisco where he worked as a medical research associate and for a scientific supply distributor. In 1981, as a new father to son Christopher Gardner Jr., he was determined to find a career that would be both lucrative and fulfilling. Fascinated by finance, but without connections, an MBA or even a college degree, Gardner applied for training programs at brokerages, willing to live on next to nothing while he learned a new trade. Chris Jr.'s mother left and Gardner, despite his circumstances, fought to keep his son because, as he says, "I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children they were going to know who their father is, and that he isn't going anywhere."

Gardner earned a spot in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program but became homeless when he could not make ends meet on his meager trainee salary. Gardner worked at Bear Stearns & Co from 1983-1987 where he became a top earner. In 1987 he founded the brokerage firm Gardner Rich in Chicago from his home with just $10,000. Gardner Rich, LLC specialized in servicing public pension funds, Taft Harley plans for some of the national largest institutions and unions. The Firm was also a leading investment bank participating in numerous corporate and municipal underwritings.

Today, Gardner is involved with homelessness initiatives assisting families to stay intact, and assisting homeless men and women who are employed but still cannot get by. It is estimated that 12 percent of the homeless population in the United States is employed; in some communities that estimate is as high as 30 percent.

Dedicated to improving the well-being of children through positive paternal involvement, Gardner is a board member of the National Fatherhood Initiative, and received the group's Father of the Year Award in 2002. He served on the board of the National Education Foundation and sponsors two annual awards: the National Education Association's National Educational Support Personnel Award and the American Federation of Teachers' Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Award. He also serves on the board of the International Rescue Committee, which works to provide access to safety, sanctuary, and sustainable change for millions of people whose lives have been shattered by violence and oppression. Gardner is still very committed to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, where he and his son received assistance in the early 1980's. He has helped fund a project that creates low-income housing and opportunities for employment in the notoriously poor Tenderloin area of the city.

Gardner has also been honored by the NAACP Image Awards with awards for both the book and movie versions of The Pursuit of Happyness; Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women's (LACAAW) 2006 Humanitarian Award; The Continental Africa Chamber of Commerces 2006 Friends of Africa Award; The Glaucoma Foundations Kitty Carlisle Hart Lifetime Achievement Award; The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA); Covenant House, Common Ground and other organizations committed to combating violence against women, homelessness, and financial illiteracy -- issues of the utmost importance to Gardner.

Chris Gardner's aim, through his speaking engagements and media projects, is to help others achieve their full potential. His practical guidance and inspirational story have made him a frequent guest on CNN, CNBC and the Fox News Channel. He has been featured on "The CBS Evening News," "20/20," "Oprah," "Today Show," "The View," "Entertainment Tonight," as well as in People, USA Today, Associated Press, New York Times, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Jet, Readers Digest, Trader Monthly, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among other publications.

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Videos

Books

Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness

Speaking Topics

  • Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happyness

    Christopher Gardner's inspiring keynote speech focuses on messages of perserverance and personal responsibility in times of crisis. Gardner communicates these themes through the story of his own triumph over adversity while homeless on the streets of San Francisco with is son, to his subsequent success as stock broker, CEO, single father and author of the bestselling autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness and Associate Producer of the film starring Will Smith in the role of Christopher Gardner.

  • Start Where You Are

    In these uncertain and challenging times, Americans are learning what they're made of by tapping into their unknown potential. Christopher Gardner demonstrates that in the face of adversity, true transformation is possible. No matter what kind of challenges your audience has encountered, Gardner is sure to inspire. Sharing powerful stories of human resilience, Gardner instills audience members with hope for a brighter future. They will leave this presentation empowered and uplifted, ready to make positive changes in their own lives.

  • Entrepreneurship and the American Dream

    Christopher Gardner recounts the story of how a red Ferrari became the turning point of his career and life. In this heartwarming presentation, Gardner takes audiences from his days in the military to the day he decided he would pursue his career dream. As a father first, and businessman second, his story is one of overcoming obstacles, facing the daunting task of balancing life responsibilities, and ultimately succeeding.

News

FAQs

  • HOW TO BOOK Chris Gardner?
    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Chris Gardner for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Chris Gardner, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Chris Gardner or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Chris Gardner?
    Booking fees for Chris Gardner, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Chris Gardner, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Chris Gardner?
    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Chris Gardner for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Chris Gardner for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?
    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Chris Gardner or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Chris Gardner or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Check Availability

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During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Chris Gardner

Inspiration for the Film "The Pursuit of Happyness", NAACP Image Awards Recipient

Travels From:
Chicago, IL, USA
Speaking Fee:

Chris Gardner Biography

Chris Gardner is the owner and CEO Chris Gardner, Inc. Conquering grave challenges to become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is an avid motivational and aspirational speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations.

The amazing story of Gardner's life was published as an autobiography, "The Pursuit of Happyness," in May 2006, and became a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller. In paperback, the book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into more than thirty languages. Gardner was also the inspiration for the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness," released by Columbia Pictures in December 2006. Will Smith starred as Gardner and received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his performance. Gardner was an associate producer on the film.

In his second New York Times bestselling book, "Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be," published in May 2009, Gardner shared his philosophies on, and the crucial steps behind, creating a fulfilling, successful life. The book provided a much-needed blueprint for navigating tumultuous times with positivity, courage, tenacity, discipline and common sense. The book was released in paperback in May 2010.

In the fall of 2010, Gardner was named the Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness for AARP, which has nearly 40 million members worldwide. His mission is to share his hard-won wisdom to encourage the 50+ audience to pursue new challenges, search for fulfillment at any stage of life, or craft the legacy they want to leave behind.

Born February 9, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christopher Paul Gardner's childhood was marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy. Gardner published his autobiography out of a desire to shed light on these universal issues and show they do not have to define you. Gardner never knew his father, and lived with his beloved mother, Bettye Jean Triplett (nee Gardner), when not in foster homes. Gardner is indebted to Bettye Jean for his success as she provided him with strong "spiritual genetics" and taught him that in spite of where he came from, he could chart another path and attain whatever goals he set for himself.

Gardner joined the Navy out of high school and after discharge moved to San Francisco where he worked as a medical research associate and for a scientific supply distributor. In 1981, as a new father to son Christopher Gardner Jr., he was determined to find a career that would be both lucrative and fulfilling. Fascinated by finance, but without connections, an MBA or even a college degree, Gardner applied for training programs at brokerages, willing to live on next to nothing while he learned a new trade. Chris Jr.'s mother left and Gardner, despite his circumstances, fought to keep his son because, as he says, "I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children they were going to know who their father is, and that he isn't going anywhere."

Gardner earned a spot in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program but became homeless when he could not make ends meet on his meager trainee salary. Gardner worked at Bear Stearns & Co from 1983-1987 where he became a top earner. In 1987 he founded the brokerage firm Gardner Rich in Chicago from his home with just $10,000. Gardner Rich, LLC specialized in servicing public pension funds, Taft Harley plans for some of the national largest institutions and unions. The Firm was also a leading investment bank participating in numerous corporate and municipal underwritings.

Today, Gardner is involved with homelessness initiatives assisting families to stay intact, and assisting homeless men and women who are employed but still cannot get by. It is estimated that 12 percent of the homeless population in the United States is employed; in some communities that estimate is as high as 30 percent.

Dedicated to improving the well-being of children through positive paternal involvement, Gardner is a board member of the National Fatherhood Initiative, and received the group's Father of the Year Award in 2002. He served on the board of the National Education Foundation and sponsors two annual awards: the National Education Association's National Educational Support Personnel Award and the American Federation of Teachers' Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Award. He also serves on the board of the International Rescue Committee, which works to provide access to safety, sanctuary, and sustainable change for millions of people whose lives have been shattered by violence and oppression. Gardner is still very committed to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, where he and his son received assistance in the early 1980's. He has helped fund a project that creates low-income housing and opportunities for employment in the notoriously poor Tenderloin area of the city.

Gardner has also been honored by the NAACP Image Awards with awards for both the book and movie versions of The Pursuit of Happyness; Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women's (LACAAW) 2006 Humanitarian Award; The Continental Africa Chamber of Commerces 2006 Friends of Africa Award; The Glaucoma Foundations Kitty Carlisle Hart Lifetime Achievement Award; The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA); Covenant House, Common Ground and other organizations committed to combating violence against women, homelessness, and financial illiteracy -- issues of the utmost importance to Gardner.

Chris Gardner's aim, through his speaking engagements and media projects, is to help others achieve their full potential. His practical guidance and inspirational story have made him a frequent guest on CNN, CNBC and the Fox News Channel. He has been featured on "The CBS Evening News," "20/20," "Oprah," "Today Show," "The View," "Entertainment Tonight," as well as in People, USA Today, Associated Press, New York Times, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Jet, Readers Digest, Trader Monthly, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among other publications.

Chris Gardner Videos

  • Chris Gardner on the Pursuit of Happiness | The Saturday Night Show
    Jan 19, 2014 ... For more check out: http://www.rte.ie/player/ Saturday Night Show | After Nine News | RTÉ One.
  • Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner Speaks part 1 - YouTube
  • Chris Gardner - YouTube

Chris Gardner Books

Speaker Lists Featuring Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner Speaking Topics

  • Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happyness

    Christopher Gardner's inspiring keynote speech focuses on messages of perserverance and personal responsibility in times of crisis. Gardner communicates these themes through the story of his own triumph over adversity while homeless on the streets of San Francisco with is son, to his subsequent success as stock broker, CEO, single father and author of the bestselling autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness and Associate Producer of the film starring Will Smith in the role of Christopher Gardner.

  • Start Where You Are

    In these uncertain and challenging times, Americans are learning what they're made of by tapping into their unknown potential. Christopher Gardner demonstrates that in the face of adversity, true transformation is possible. No matter what kind of challenges your audience has encountered, Gardner is sure to inspire. Sharing powerful stories of human resilience, Gardner instills audience members with hope for a brighter future. They will leave this presentation empowered and uplifted, ready to make positive changes in their own lives.

  • Entrepreneurship and the American Dream

    Christopher Gardner recounts the story of how a red Ferrari became the turning point of his career and life. In this heartwarming presentation, Gardner takes audiences from his days in the military to the day he decided he would pursue his career dream. As a father first, and businessman second, his story is one of overcoming obstacles, facing the daunting task of balancing life responsibilities, and ultimately succeeding.

FAQs on booking Chris Gardner

  • How to book Chris Gardner?
    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Chris Gardner for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Chris Gardner, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Chris Gardner or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Chris Gardner?
    Booking fees for Chris Gardner, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Chris Gardner, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Chris Gardner?
    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Chris Gardner for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Chris Gardner for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?
    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Chris Gardner or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Chris Gardner or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Chris Gardner is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Chris Gardner for your event is $50,000 - $100,000. Chris Gardner generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Daymond John, J.R. Martinez, Bill Rancic, Barbara Corcoran and Van Jones. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Chris Gardner for an upcoming event.

Chris Gardner Speaker Videos

  • Chris Gardner on the Pursuit of Happiness | The Saturday Night Show
    Jan 19, 2014 ... For more check out: http://www.rte.ie/player/ Saturday Night Show | After Nine News | RTÉ One.
    Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner Speaks part 1 - YouTube
  • Chris Gardner - YouTube

Chris Gardner Speaking Topics

  • Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happyness

    Christopher Gardner's inspiring keynote speech focuses on messages of perserverance and personal responsibility in times of crisis. Gardner communicates these themes through the story of his own triumph over adversity while homeless on the streets of San Francisco with is son, to his subsequent success as stock broker, CEO, single father and author of the bestselling autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness and Associate Producer of the film starring Will Smith in the role of Christopher Gardner.

  • Start Where You Are

    In these uncertain and challenging times, Americans are learning what they're made of by tapping into their unknown potential. Christopher Gardner demonstrates that in the face of adversity, true transformation is possible. No matter what kind of challenges your audience has encountered, Gardner is sure to inspire. Sharing powerful stories of human resilience, Gardner instills audience members with hope for a brighter future. They will leave this presentation empowered and uplifted, ready to make positive changes in their own lives.

  • Entrepreneurship and the American Dream

    Christopher Gardner recounts the story of how a red Ferrari became the turning point of his career and life. In this heartwarming presentation, Gardner takes audiences from his days in the military to the day he decided he would pursue his career dream. As a father first, and businessman second, his story is one of overcoming obstacles, facing the daunting task of balancing life responsibilities, and ultimately succeeding.

Chris Gardner News

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Speakers Similar to Chris Gardner

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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