Christopher Gardner, the real man behind the movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

christopher gardner

We have heard many rags to riches stories. But among them all, probably the story of Christopher Gardner is an incredibly inspiring story. Christopher Gardner was born on February 9, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Thomas Turner and Bettye Jean Gardner. His childhood was marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy.

Christopher Gardner witnessed a very struggled childhood. His parents got separated and his stepfather was physically abusive to his mother and siblings. His mother was falsely convicted twice because of his stepfather’s allegations.When they had no one to take care of, he with his siblings had to stay in a foster home at the age of 8.

Things were not even better when he grew up! His first marriage failed due to his choice of opting out of a medical career and because he cheated on his wife. He even failed at his job as a medical equipment salesman and for his deteriorating financial condition, his girlfriend deserted him. Christopher Gardner became a homeless. He, along with his son, stayed at motels, parks, airports and once even in a public toilet.

But nothing could deter him from aiming high. He faced every odds courageously and won every battle. Gardner worked hard to become a top trainee at Dean Witter Reynolds. His perseverance paid off when, in 1982, Gardner passed his Series 7 Exam on the first try and became a full-time employee of the Dean Witter. Eventually, Gardner was recruited by Bear Stearns & Company in San Francisco. He established his own brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co. in 1987, in which he owns 75% of the stock. He sold a small stake in Gardener Rich in 2006 in a multi-million dollar deal, and become CEO and founder of Christopher Gardner International Holdings, with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

Christopher Gardner’s life was full of struggle; but he fought his destiny and his life story turned out to be an ever inspiring story. His life was portrayed in a famous Hollywood film – The Pursuit of Happyness – which was not only a blockbuster, but was also loved by audiences worldwide.