Christopher Gardner is a successful executive whose autobiography about struggling with homelessness while raising his son became an award-winning movie, The Pursuit of Happyness. His childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism and family illiteracy. After high school, he joined the Navy then moved to San Francisco, working as a medical research associate.
Fascinated by finance, he lived on next to nothing while raising his son while he learned a new trade. Gardner is now owner and chief executive officer of Gardner Rich LLC, which has offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.