Chris Gardner net worth is $70 million. One of the most well-known rags-to-riches stories we are familiar with is Chris Gardner’s life story. This man had a very modest upbringing and lacked all the necessities for survival throughout his adolescence. He was raised in a number of foster homes after being removed from his mother by a violent and abusive stepfather.
He made the decision to join the Navy shortly after, spending four years in the US Corps. After retiring, the combat veteran began working as a lab research assistant, with surgeon Robert Ellis demonstrating faith in his bright future in medicine. The employment was menial, though, and the young guy had to give up his aspirations of becoming a doctor since he had to support a family.
For a while, he marketed medical supplies, but he was never truly happy with his work. Soon, the desire to work at a job that would be more fulfilling emerged, and he made the decision to become a stockbroker. He made a few unsuccessful attempts at various training programs provided by various companies before being quickly accepted as a trainee at the “Dean Witter Reynolds.” His perseverance paid off, and soon he was able to create his own company, Gardner Rich & Co., which, though it began modestly, ultimately propelled Chris to stardom. Learn more about his life and works by reading on.
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Table of Contents
Gardner was born on February 9, 1954, to Thomas Turner and Bettye Jean Gardner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was Bettye Jean’s sole son and the second child she had had. Ophelia, his older half-sister, is a child of a prior union. Sharon and Kimberly, his younger sisters, are the offspring of his mother’s union with Freddie Triplett.
Due to his father’s presence in Louisiana at the time of Gardner’s birth and his stepfather’s physical abuse of both his mother and his sisters, Gardner did not grow up with many strong male role models. Gardner and his sisters were continually scared of Triplett because of his outbursts of fury. In one instance, Triplett fraudulently accused Bettye Jean of welfare fraud, leading to her imprisonment and the placement of the kids in foster care.
When Gardner was eight years old, his mother, who they were unaware of, was found guilty of attempting to kill Triplett by setting fire to the house while he was inside, forcing him and his sisters back into foster care for the second time. His three maternal uncles, Archibald, Willie, and Henry, were introduced to Gardner while he was in foster care.
Henry had the biggest impact on him out of the three since he came into Gardner’s life just when he needed a good father figure. But when Chris was nine years old, Henry lost his life in the Mississippi River. When their mother attended Henry’s burial while being escorted by a prison guard, the kids discovered that their mother had been detained.
Bettye Jean was a strong and good role model for her son Chris despite her very miserable marriage and extended absences. She planted the seeds of independence in Gardner by encouraging him to have confidence in himself. She is quoted by Gardner as saying, “Only you can depend on yourself. The cavalry ain’t coming.” Gardner also came to the conclusion from his early experiences that he wished to steer clear of alcoholism, domestic violence, child abuse, illiteracy, dread, and impotence in the future.
Chris Gardner’s Career
After graduating from high school, Gardner followed his uncle Henry’s advice and enlisted in the US Navy, spending four years in “Camp Lejeune” in North Carolina. Here, he met famous cardiac surgeon Robert Ellis, who advised that Chris join the study group at the “University of California Medical Center and Veterans Administration Hospital” in San Francisco. The young man left the Navy in 1974 and began working at a hospital as a clinical research assistant.
After demonstrating his capacity for a larger role in just two years, Gardner was given the reins of a laboratory in 1976 and began collaborating with Ellis to write medical articles. He was obliged to start working as a salesman for medical equipment because this profession did not pay well enough and he had a family to support. He was once intrigued to learn about the career of a well-dressed man driving a Ferrari. Gardner was motivated to work as a stockbroker after he learned that the man, Bob Bridges. Bridges gave the young salesman training as well as a wealth of prospects.
He gave several stockbroker training companies, including Dean Witter Reynolds, Paine Webber, Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, and E.F. Hutton, a go. He joined “Hutton,” gave up his job as a salesman, and began studying to become a stockbroker. Gardner’s recruiter had left by the time he joined, so he was starting again.
He was soon engaged by the company “Dean Witter Reynolds” as a trainee, receiving no pay until he received a definite job. The meager sum of money he received from the selling of medical supplies was the primary source of support for him. The aspiring stockbroker put a lot of effort into his training, staying late every day and making about 200 calls per day.
After passing his “Series 7” test in 1982, he was hired on as a full-time employee. After that, Chris was hired as a stockbroker by San Francisco-based “Bear Stearns & Company.” The experienced stockbroker launched Gardner Rich & Co. in Chicago, Illinois, in 1987 as his first commercial venture. With a meager $10,000 investment, he ran a modest start-up business out of his cramped room in the “Presidential Towers.”
Gardner founded and served as the CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings, which has offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, after selling his little ownership in Gardner Rich in a multimillion-dollar deal in 2006. Nelson Mandela and Gardner had a meeting to discuss potential investments in South Africa’s emerging markets while Gardner was in South Africa to monitor elections around the time of the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid. There, Gardner had plans to invest, hoping to bring millions of dollars in foreign money and hundreds of jobs to the nation. Invoking securities regulations, Gardner has chosen not to share any specifics about the initiative.
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Awards And Achievements
Gardner was given the NFI’s Father of the Year Award in 2002. Additionally, he was given the 2006 Friends of Africa Award by the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce and the 25th Annual Humanitarian Award by the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW). He gave a speech in 2008 at his daughter’s Hampton University graduation.
Chris Gardner’s Personal Life And Legacy
On June 18, 1977, Chris Gardner married Sherry Dyson, an authority in mathematics. Even more so once the young guy decided he couldn’t continue a profession in medicine, the marriage turned out to be turbulent. He had an affair with Jackie, a young woman, although still married, and Jackie became pregnant shortly after. A newborn boy, Christopher Jarrett Medina Gardner Jr., was born to him in 1981 shortly after he moved in with Jackie and divorced his wife. Four years later, he welcomed his daughter Jacintha into the world.
Eventually, Chris’ relationship with Jackie also ended, and she accused him of torturing her physically. The businessman had to deal with imprisonment and a few months away from his son even though he disputes the accusations. In less than four months, Jackie brought Christopher Jr. back, and the aspiring stockbroker assumed full custody of the kid despite all of the challenges the family was facing, such as poverty, hunger, and homelessness.
This well-known businessman has made it his mission to give the poor homes and a respectable standard of living because he experienced poverty and abuse as a child. He contributes money to groups like “Glide Memorial United Methodist Church” that house the homeless.
He serves as a director on the boards of the non-profit organizations “National Fatherhood Initiative” and “National Education Foundation” since he is a committed father. The Pursuit of Happiness (2006), starring Will Smith and based on the same-titled book by Gardner’s son, is the most well-known movie to portray Gardner’s life and difficulties. A number of “Academy Award” nominations were given to the moving film.
He had an appearance in the documentary “Come on Down: Searching for the American Dream,” which also included TV host Bob Barker and author Hunter S. Thompson. In 2008’s comedy “The Promotion,” starring Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly, he also appeared in a supporting role.
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Chris Gardner Net Worth
Chris Gardner is an American businessman, author, investor, and motivational speaker with a net worth of $70 million.