Christopher Gardner – Keynote Speaker

Author of critically acclaimed "Pursuit of Happyness", Entrepreneur, Single Parent, Speaker and Philanthropist

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Christopher Gardner Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Permission To Dream
  • Entrepreneurship and the American dream
  • Breaking cycles
  • Start where you are
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Resilience
  • C-5 Complex
  • Managing Loss
  • Fishing from the Same Pool of Talent
  • Why Happyness is spelled with a Y
  • Homelessness
  • Agility


  • English


Christopher Gardner is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist and single parent whose breakthrough work has been recognised all over the world.

Few stories are as inspiring or moving as Gardner’s astonishing rise from homelessness to the pinnacle of finance. Overcoming tremendous odds to get his brokerage training, he established himself as a top earner at Bear Stearns & Co from 1983-1987 before founding his own firm Gardner Rich LLC in 1987.

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. The book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into more than forty 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 creating a fulfilling, successful life. The book provided a much-needed blueprint for navigating tumultuous times with a positive outlook, courage, tenacity and discipline.

In the spring of 2010, Gardner was named the Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness for AARP, which has nearly 40 million members worldwide. Through his powerful public speaking, he encourages the 50+ audience to pursue new challenges, search for fulfillment at any stage of life, and craft the legacy they want to leave behind.

As a single parent for 25 years, Gardner has demonstrated his concern for the well-being of children through his work with and on behalf of organizations such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Education Association Foundation and the International Rescue Committee.

Popular Talks by Christopher Gardner

Permission To Dream

Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he’s been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life. The First is that when he grew up, became a man, and had children, his children were going to know who their father was. The Second was becoming World Class and the Third was joining the United States Navy. He will conclude by taking about the greatest gift that he ever received which was Permission 2 Dream.  

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