Speaker's Profile


Christopher Gardner

Inspiration for the Film, The Pursuit of Happyness

Few stories are as inspiring and moving as motivational speaker Christopher Gardner’s. Gardner rose from homelessness to become the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC. Author of the autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, a New York Times and Washington Post #1 best-seller, he 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. His newest book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be was released in 2009 and instantly hit the New York Times Best-Seller List.

Always hardworking and tenacious, a series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980’s left Christopher 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 from the very bottom to the top of the financial industry ladder.

Surmounting acute obstacles throughout his life, Christopher Gardner is an avid professional speaker, sharing with his audiences the keys to self-empowerment, and the message of beating the odds and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist committed to many charitable organizations.

Speech Topic(s)

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.

Breaking Cycles

Christopher Gardner is the head of his own successful brokerage firm – but just 25 years ago, he was homeless, carrying all his possessions on his back, and occasionally living in a bathroom at a train station. A true testament to perseverance, Gardner tells his story of overcoming obstacles, “breaking cycles,” and hard-won success. He recounts his fears of failure, the exhaustion of his pursuit, and his great appreciation for those who helped him. Gardner is a captivating motivational speaker whose storytelling grabs hold of his audience and his humor lights up the room.

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


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■Chris Gardner

■Chris Gardner UC Berkeley keynote 2009 (HQ)