Chris Gardner: Homeless turned multimillionaire. Real story

In addition to the film based on his life with Will Smith, Gardner also has two New York Times bestsellers: his autobiography The Pursuit of Happiness and Start with Who You Are and Who You Want to Be.

2 min readApr 5, 2022


But before his story was told to the world, Gardner lived on the street with his young son. At the time, he was trying to make a career in finance, despite not having any experience in the field, or even a college degree. He got a place in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program but couldn’t afford to live off the small salary and his wife eventually left.
He is also a motivational speaker and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
According to his website, Gardner’s childhood was “marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse, and family illiteracy.”

He now spends 200 days a year traveling the world, speaking to assembled audiences in over 50 countries.

Scott Burns, director of American investment firm Morningstar, says Mr. Gardner is “an amazing testament to the fortitude.”

He adds, “You can be overwhelmed, but only as much as you let yourself be.”

Mr. Gardner believes that he refutes the theory that we are all products of our childhood environment.

“According to this school of thought, I should have become an alcoholic, an illiterate loser.”

Instead, he says he made his own positive choices because of his mother’s love and the support of other people.

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