Chris Gardner Biography

Chris Gardner is a motivational speaker and entrepreneur from the United States. Gardner was homeless in the early 1980s while raising a toddler daughter. He went on to become a stockbroker and established Gardner Rich & Co in 1987.

How old is Chris Gardner? – Age

He was born as Christopher Paul Gardner on 9 February 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. He is 68 years as of 2022.

Where did Chris Gardner go to school? – Education

He went on to study at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in Manhattan after graduating.

Chris Gardner – Family

Gardner was born in Los Angeles, California, to Thomas Turner and Bettye Jean Gardner. Bettye Jean had only one son, and he was the second of her two children. His older half-sister Ophelia comes from a previous marriage. His younger sisters Sharon and Kimberly are the consequence of his mother’s marriage to Freddie Triplett.
Gardner grew up without any strong male role models because his father was away in Louisiana when he was born, and his stepfather was physically abusive to both his mother and sisters. Gardner and his sisters were always terrified of Triplett’s rage. In one example, Bettye Jean was imprisoned when Triplett falsely reported her for welfare fraud, and the children were placed in foster care. Gardner and his sisters were placed in foster care for the second time when their mother was found guilty of attempting to murder Triplett by setting fire to his home while he was inside when Gardner was eight years old.

During his time in foster care, Gardner met his three maternal uncles, Archibald, Willie, and Henry. Of the three, Henry had the largest impact on Gardner because he came into his life at a time when he needed a strong father figure the most. Henry drowned in the Mississippi River when Chris was only nine years old. The children found out that their mother had been imprisoned when she arrived at Henry’s funeral escorted by a jail guard.

Chris Gardner’s Wife, Ex-wife – Marriage

On 18 June 1977, Chris married Virginia native Sherry Dyson, a mathematics educator. Gardner seemed to have his medical career goals mapped out in front of him, based on his industry knowledge, expertise, and relationships.
With ten years of medical school ahead of him and huge changes in health care on the horizon, he knew that by the time he was ready to practice, the medical profession would be drastically changed. Gardner was convinced to pursue more lucrative work opportunities, and only days before his 26th birthday, he notified his wife, Sherry, of his plans to abandon his ambitions of becoming a physician.

He had a hard relationship with Sherry, partially due to his decision not to pursue a medical career and partly due to behavioral differences. While still living with Sherry, he began an affair with a dentistry student called Jackie Medina, and she became pregnant with his child only a few months later.
He moved in with Jackie and prepared for fatherhood after three years of marriage to Sherry. After nine years of marriage, he and Sherry got divorced in 1986. Christopher Jarrett Gardner Jr. was born on 28 January 1981, to his parents. Gardner and Jackie reconnected after finding a home, and in 1985 they had a second child, a girl named Jacintha. Gardner turned down Jackie’s offer to restart their romance, although he did arrange for Chris Jr. and Jacintha to stay with Jackie during his long work schedules.

Chris Gardner's photo
Chris Gardner’s photo

Chris Gardner Children

He is blessed with two children, Jacintha Darlene Gardner, and Christopher Jarrett Medina Gardner.

Is the Pursuit of Happiness really accurate?

Gardner realized his story had Hollywood potential after receiving a phenomenal national response to an interview he gave with 20/20 in January 2002.
Before becoming an associate producer on Gabriele Muccino’s big motion picture The Pursuit of Happiness, which was published on 15 December 2006 by Columbia Pictures, he released his autobiography on 23 May 2006. Gardner acquired the title of the film’s distinctive spelling from a sign he saw while homeless. The word “happy” is misspelled outside the daycare center where Gardner’s son attends. The film grossed $163 million in the United States and over $300 million worldwide. Will Smith’s performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Chris Gardner makes a cameo appearance in the film’s final scene, passing by Will and Jaden.

What is Gardner’s Salary?

He receives an annual estimated salary of 350 Crores which is equivalent to $30,146,425.40.

Gardner’s Net Worth

His net worth is predicted to be $70 million.

Chris Gardner Career

Gardner decided to join the US Navy after finishing high school, motivated by his uncle Henry’s global travels in the US Navy. He spent four years at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as a hospital corpsman. Gardner met Dr. Robert Ellis, a well-known San Francisco cardiac surgeon, who offered him a position at the University of California Medical Center and the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital assisting him with cutting-edge clinical research. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1974, Gardner accepted the position and relocated to San Francisco. Over the course of two years, he learned how to run a lab and execute a variety of surgical procedures. He had full responsibility for a laboratory by 1976, and he and Dr. Ellis had co-authored numerous articles in medical journals.
Gardner established Gardner Rich & Co in Chicago, Illinois, in 1987, as an “institutional brokerage firm specializing in the execution of debt, equity, and derivative products transactions for some of the country’s largest institutions, public pension systems, and unions.” With a $10,000 start-up cash and only one piece of furniture: a wooden desk that also served as the family dining table, his new firm began in his small Presidential Towers flat. The name “Rich” was chosen to honor commodities trader Marc Rich, who had no ties to the firm and whom Gardner had never met but considered “one of the world’s most successful futures traders.”
Gardner founded Christopher Gardner International Holdings after selling his minority stake in Gardner Rich in a multimillion-dollar sale in 2006. During a visit to South Africa to witness elections around the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid, Gardner met with Nelson Mandela to discuss possible investments in South African emerging markets. Gardner planned to invest in the country, expecting to hire hundreds of people and bring in millions of dollars in foreign currency. Gardner has declined to talk about the project’s specifics, citing securities laws as a reason.

Recognition and awards

Gardner was named Father of the Year by the National Federation of Independents in 2002. The Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW) presented him with the 25th Annual Humanitarian Award, and the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce presented him with the 2006 Friends of Africa Award.

He delivered the commencement address at Hampton University in 2008 for his daughter.


  • 2006 – The Pursuit of Happyness
  • 2009 – Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!