With almost no savings and his trainee job offered no salary, Gardner only manages to earn only 300 to 400 dollars per month from selling medical equipment and was unable to meet his living expenses. Gardner returned to San Francisco determined to succeed at business. [7] He has helped fund a $50 million project in San Francisco that creates low-income housing and opportunities for employment in the area of the city where he was once homeless. Every day he arrived at the office early and stayed late making calls to prospective clients with his daily goal being 200 calls per day. The life of Chris Gardner is surely one made for the big screen as he once struggled with financial problems and homelessness while raising his toddler son Christopher Gardner Jr. From being a single father without any money while living on the streets of San Francisco with his small son, he achieved success with his willpower and perseverance to overcome every obstacle he face and found a successful company. Chris Gardner was a homeless father in San Francisco during the 1980s. Chris Gardner got married to a mathematics expert, Sherry Dyson, on June 18, 1977. [12], Gardner is a philanthropist who sponsors many charitable organizations, primarily the Cara Program and the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, where he and his son received desperately needed shelter. While still living with Sherry, he began an affair with a dental student named Jackie Medina, and she became pregnant with his child only a few months into the affair. Triplett's fits of rage made both Gardner and his sisters constantly afraid. [10], In 1987, Gardner established the brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co, in Chicago, Illinois, an "institutional brokerage firm specializing in the execution of debt, equity, and derivative products transactions for some of the nation's largest institutions, public pension plans, and unions. He was the second child and the only boy born to Bettye Jean. Perhaps the name “Chris Gardner” doesn’t sound very familiar to you, but you’ve surely seen or heard about the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. […] Chris Gardner: Story of Homeless Man Who Became Millionaire […]. Gardner also made a cameo appearance in the 2008 comedy film The Promotion, where he played a community leader. For the following two months, Gardner canceled or postponed his sales appointments, and his car amassed parking tickets while he met with managers. Although the real story is somewhat different from the plot of the movie, you can still feel that Chris Gardner is a man of courage, perseverance and faith. The movie, starring Will Smith, Thandie Newton and Jaden Smith, focused on Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Played by Will Smith this inspirational film is about a San Francisco salesman struggling to build a future for himself and his 5-year-old son Christopher. Chris Gardner. Gardner was advised to consider more lucrative career options; a few days before his 26th birthday, he informed his wife, Sherry, of his plans to abandon his dreams of becoming a physician. [3], His son Christopher Jarrett Gardner Jr. was born on January 28, 1981. He was involved in a low-paid trainee program at a stock brokerage firm. we respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Raised in a home with an abusive stepfather who once threw him outside naked at gunpoint in Wisconsin on Christmas day, you couldn’t accuse Chris Gardner of being a product of a charmed life. With no experience, no college education, virtually no connections, and with the same casual outfit he had been wearing on the day he was taken into custody, Gardner gained a position in Dean Witter Reynolds' stock brokerage training program. He was taken to jail and stay there for ten days as punishment for not being able to pay $1,200 in parking tickets. To dedicate his time exclusively to training as a stockbroker he quit his sales job but when he appeared at the office ready to work he find out that his hiring manager had been fired the week before. [3], His relationship with Sherry was detached, in part because of his decision to abandon a medical career and in part due to differences in their behavior. Chris Gardner was born on February 9, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA as Christopher Paul Gardner. He does not have a very pleasant childhood as his stepfather was physically abusive to his mother and sisters. After finishing high school, Chris Gardnerjoined the Navy. "[7] His new company was started in his small Presidential Towers apartment, with start-up capital of $10,000 and a single piece of furniture: a wooden desk that doubled as the family dinner table. So after four years, he decides to quit his current job and take a job as a medical equipment salesman on double salary. His perseverance paid off when, in 1982, Gardner passed his Series 7 Exam on the first try and became a full employee of the firm. Chris and his 2-year-old son slept in parks, airports, motels, and during their darkest moments, they slept on the floor of a … According to Gardner, the police witnessed an incident in which Jackie was running away with Chris Jr. and Gardner attempted to take the child back, but in the process swung Jackie into the garden bushes, which resulted in her being scratched. [13] He published his autobiography on May 23, 2006, before becoming an associate producer of the major motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness, directed by Gabriele Muccino and released by Columbia Pictures on December 15, 2006. Chris Gardner Success Story Chris Gardner was a single, homeless father in San Francisco. The unusual spelling of the film's title comes from a sign Gardner saw when he was homeless. From that moment on, Chris Gardner’s career path was decided. Gardner was featured in the Canadian documentary Come on Down: Searching for the American Dream (2004),[17] where he spoke about the American Dream at his office in downtown Chicago. He worked there for two years before getting a promotion. However, Henry drowned in the Mississippi River when Chris was nine years old. Chris – I’m Chris Gardner. When Gardner returned home from the jail he finds his apartment empty. Struggles to pay rent and daycare on an entry-level salary. During the early 1980s, Gardner struggled with homelessness while raising a toddler son. While still married, he had an affair with a young girl named Jackie, who got pregnant within a … [1] The Illinois license plate of Gardner's black Ferrari reads "NOT MJ". He determined to pursue his goal so he again meets with Bob and asks for his help. Over the course of two years, he learned how to manage a laboratory and to perform various surgical techniques. In 1987, Gardner established his own brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co, in Chicago, Illinois. Triplett was abusive to his wife and children. The life of Chris Gardner is surely one made for the big screen as he once struggled with financial problems and homelessness while raising his toddler son Christopher Gardner Jr. From being a single father without any money while living on the streets of San Francisco … His new company was started in his small apartment with a start-up capital of $10,000 and a single piece of furniture a wooden desk. Then he appeared at the office ready to work, only to discover that his hiring manager had been fired the week before. [11] The "Rich" in the name was in honor of commodities trader Marc Rich, who had no connection to the company and whom Gardner had never met, but whom Gardner considered "one of the most successful futures traders in the world. Chris Gardnerstarted to work at the University of California Medical Center and Veterans Administration Hospital in 1974. In his popular book – Pursuit of Happyness, Chris depicted his struggles as a homeless father. However, he said his daughter Jacintha "set him straight" by saying, "If Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you! According to the school of thought, he should have ended up a wife beater, alcoholic or an illiterate steeped in poverty. [9] As well as offering monetary support, Gardner donates clothing and shoes. From his childhood experiences, he is very determined that illiteracy, alcoholism, domestic and child abuse and powerlessness were all things he wanted to avoid in the future. In 1974, Gardner left the Navy to do just that. Chris Gardner biography, married, wife, divorce, movies, net worth | He is the man of money. Gardner also determined from his early experiences that alcoholism, domestic abuse, child abuse, illiteracy, fear, and powerlessness were all things he wanted to avoid in the future. He became a stock broker and eventually founded his own brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co in 1987. [5], Prompted by his son's inquiries about his father, Gardner had previously been able to track down his biological father via telephone. In 2006, Gardner sold his minority stake in the firm and published a memoir. [7] He is also a board member of the National Education Foundation and sponsors two annual education awards: the National Education Association's National Educational Support Personnel Award and the American Federation of Teachers' Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel Award. The movie, starring Will Smith and Smith’s son Jaden Smith, majorly focused on Gardner’s nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. During this period he encountered some of the greatest difficulties in his life. Gardner worked as a research lab assistant at UCSF and at the Veterans' Hospital after leaving the service. Chris Gardner, the man who went from being homeless to being worth millions; If you haven’t seen ‘The Pursuit of Happiness‘ yet, which is a recreation of Chris’ life story, you need to go and watch it right away! [7], In 2002, Gardner received the Father of the Year Award from the NFI. Suddenly it dawned on him that this is the job he is looking for that can make him a millionaire. He makes himself available for permanent job placement assistance, career counselling and comprehensive job training for the homeless population and at-risk communities in Chicago. With a higher income from his new job, Gardner was able to save enough money to travel to Monroe, Louisiana, where he and his son met his father, Turner, for the first time.[3]. He willingly accepted sole custody of his child; however, the rooming house where he lived did not allow children. Chris Gardner realized that his story had the Hollywood potential after an overwhelming response to an interview he did in January 2002. Chris Gardner: A Determined Father By Belinda Elliott CBN.com Daily Life Producer CBN.com - Chris Gardner is a father, an ambitious businessman, and a multi-millionaire, but his life wasn’t always a glowing portrait of stability. ", After Gardner had found a home, he resumed contact with Jackie and had a second child with her in 1985 – a daughter named Jacintha. Chris Gardner’s Early Life and Siblings As contained in his memoir, Chris was born on February 9, 1954, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gardner did not have many positive male role models as a child, as his father was living in Louisiana during his birth, and his stepfather was physically abusive to both his mother and his sisters. However, he was nowhere close to achieving his dream of making big money when his son Christopher Gardner Jr. was born on January 28, 1981. Bob Bridges gave him an introduction to the world of finance and organized meetings between Gardner and the managers of the big stock brokerage firms that offered training programs. Gardner worked very hard to become a top trainee at Dean Witter Reynolds. He debunks the notion that one’s childhood environment determines a person’s future. In the final scene of the movie, Gardner makes a special appearance when while walking past Will and Chris acknowledge each other and walk away. He was the second child and the only boy born to his mother. Triplett was abusive to his spouse and kids. However, the marriage proved to be tumultuous, especially after the young man decided he could not pursue a medical career. She encouraged Gardner to believe in himself and sowed the seeds of self-reliance in him. In one incident his mother was falsely imprisoned for welfare fraud and Chris and his sisters were placed in foster care. By then, he was earning a small salary and was able to afford rooming in a flophouse. [7], Dedicated to the well-being of children through positive paternal involvement, Gardner serves on the board of the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI). [1] In one incident, Bettye Jean was imprisoned when Triplett falsely reported her to the authorities for welfare fraud; the children were placed in foster care. Chris Gardner When Chris Gardner and his young son were sleeping rough on the floor of a public toilet, he could never have dreamt that his life story would be turned into a … According to Gardner the unusual spelling of the film’s title comes from a sign he saw outside the daycare facility Gardner’s son attends when he was homeless. He had an older half-sister, Ophelia and two other young sisters – Sharon and Kimberly from two different unions. Chris Gardner’s most popular book is The Pursuit of Happyness. By 1976, he had been given full responsibility over a laboratory and had co-authored several articles with Dr. Ellis that were published in medical journals. [1], Inspired by his Uncle Henry's worldwide adventures in the U.S. Navy, Gardner decided to enlist when he finished secondary schooling. He arrived at the office early and stayed late each day, persistently making calls to prospective clients with his goal being 200 calls per day. View full transcript. When Gardner was eight years old, he and his sisters returned to foster care for the second time when their mother, unbeknownst to them, was convicted of trying to kill Triplett by burning down the house while he was inside. [10][better source needed] Gardner turned down Jackie's offer for the two to get back together in a relationship, but arranged for Chris Jr. and Jacintha to stay with Jackie during his long hours at work. Christopher Paul Gardner was born on February 9, 1954, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for four years, where he was assigned as a hospital corpsman. Gardner’s relationship with his girlfriend Jackie was also falling apart as she took Chris Jr. away to live with her on the East Coast. Gardner was planning an investment venture there which he hoped would create hundreds of jobs and introduce millions in foreign currency into the country's economy. In mid-2006 Gardner sold the small stake of his company Gardner Rich in a multimillion-dollar deal. Chris Gardner’s memoir, The Pursuit of Happyness, details his pursuit of the American Dream and desire to rise against the challenging circumstances of his birth and attain success. He has three stepsisters. Chris Gardner is a marvel. Although he was gainfully employed, Gardner and his son secretly struggled with homelessness while he saved money for a rental house in Berkeley. Gardner quotes her as saying, "You can only depend on yourself. Chris Gardner Story. In the film, "happiness" is misspelle… Lead Pastor. He is a producer and actor, known for The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), The Promotion (2008) and Maya Angelou And Still I Rise (2016). On February 9th, 1954, Chris Gardner’s unlikely journey to the top began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was born. Of the three, Henry had the most profound influence on him, entering Gardner's world at a time when he most needed a positive father figure. [8][better source needed], Gardner returned home from jail to find his apartment empty. None of Gardner’s co-workers knew that he and his son were homeless nearly for a year. Chris Gardner, Producer: The Pursuit of Happyness. For the next two months, Gardner cancelled or postponed all his sales appointments and while these meetings his car fined for many parking violations. Chris Gardner: The True Story Of The Pursuit Of Happyness. 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