HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Chris Gardner

Best-Selling Author of The Pursuit of Happyness and Entrepreneur


  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be


Illinois, New York

Best-selling author and successful entrepreneur Chris Gardner knows a thing or two about overcoming daunting obstacles. In his 2006 autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness (Amistad), Gardner recounts how he and his son struggled to make ends meet when he accepted a position with the prestigious Dean Witter Reynolds training program in hopes of starting a career that would be both lucrative and fulfilling. Single, homeless, and living on a meager salary in the heart of San Francisco, Gardner's experience shows just how far a father will go to provide a better life for his son. The book spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was made into a movie with the same name. The film was the number two all-time domestic-grossing drama and earned Will Smith an academy award for his portrayal of Gardner. Gardner's second book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (Amistad) is an informative guide that uses real issues and solutions to help others achieve success in impossible situations. Gardner spent four years working as a top earner at Bear Stearns before founding his own brokerage firm, Gardner Rich LLC, in 1987. He has devoted his free time to sharing his inspirational story and offering practical guidance to audiences across the country.

An avid philanthropist and advocate, Gardner has received numerous honors, including the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women's 2006 Humanitarian Award, The Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce's 2006 Friends of Africa Award, the NAACP Image Awards for the book and movie versions of The Pursuit of Happyness, as well as many others. He resides in Chicago and New York City with his two children.

Praise for The Pursuit of Happyness:

"Gardner is encouraging us all to start where we are and dare to make our lives bigger and stronger, more satisfactory, and better. Chris Gardner is a knockout!" -- Maya Angelou

"An incredible journey of overcoming the impossible....This is a must read!" -- The Three Doctors, authors of the New York Times bestsellers The Pact and We Beat the Street

"You can come from nowhere and still end up somewhere great. You could find yourself homeless and feel helpless and yet still become a visionary leader and super charitable philanthropist. Chris Gardner did it and his book will inspire you to do the same or more." -- Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen, co-authors of One Minute Millionaire and Cracking the Millionaire Code

"Real, exciting, courageous, this story is universal and just might provide us with a new understanding of the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. A page-turner, The Pursuit of Happyness will keep you up at night." -- Reverend Cecil Williams, Glide United Methodist

"The quintessential rags-to-riches American dream story - amazing and inspirational. In [this] heartwarming memoir . . . Chris Gardner takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride through his troubled yet remarkable life." -- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"In this stirring autobiography...Gardner recounts his 'long walk to Wall Street,' a journey that took him from a childhood in the ghettos of Milwaukee to an enormously successful career as a stockbroker in New York City." -- Library Journal