I wanna make first post in 2011 colorful with some inspiration touch. So this time i am here with a great personality life story. He is one of the great personalities who fought against fate. You may not known his name but it is time to know about him. He is ''Chris Gardner''. Even his son involved much in Chris's development. He is the one who fought as a warrior in the war but war is replaced with life.
Just imagine once if our life become a famous best-selling book. Just imagine if a famous Hollywood actor Will Smith starred your character on silver screen (Pursuit of Happyness). How we feel at that time..
Chris Gardner - a man whose journey has taken him from homeless father to Wall Street broker to wildly successful founder of his own financial firm.
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. In paperback, the book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into more than a dozen 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, and the crucial steps behind, creating a fulfilling, successful life. The book provided a much-needed blueprint for navigating tumultuous times with positivity, courage, tenacity, discipline and common sense. The book was released in paperback in May 2010.
Born February 9, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christopher Paul Gardner’s childhood was marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy. Gardner published his autobiography out of a desire to shed light on these universal issues and show they do not have to define you. Gardner never knew his father, and lived with his beloved mother, Bettye Jean Triplett (nee Gardner), when not in foster homes. Gardner is indebted to Bettye Jean for his success as she provided him with strong “spiritual genetics” and taught him that in spite of where he came from, he could chart another path and attain whatever goals he set for himself. He was the second child born to Bettye Jean, his older half-sister is Ophelia from a previous union; and younger siblings are Sharon and Kimberly, children from his mother's marriage to Freddie Triplett.
Gardner did not have many positive male role models as a child, as his father was living in Louisiana during his birth, and his stepfather was physically abusive to his wife and children. Triplett's rages made Gardner and his sisters constantly afraid.In one incident, Bettye Jean was imprisoned when Triplett reported her to the authorities for welfare fraud; the children were placed in foster care. When Gardner was eight years old, he and his sisters returned to foster care a second time when their mother, unbeknown to them, was convicted of trying to kill Triplett by burning down the house while he was inside.
While in foster care, Gardner first became acquainted with his three maternal uncles: Archibald, Willie and Henry. Of the three, Henry had the most profound influence on him, entering Gardner's world at a time when he most needed a father figure. Tragically, Henry drowned in the Mississippi River when Chris was nine years old. The children learned that their mother had been imprisoned when she arrived at Henry's funeral escorted by a prison guard
Despite her unhappy marriage and her periods of absence, Bettye Jean was a source of inspiration and strength to her son Chris. She encouraged Gardner to believe in himself and sowed the seeds of self-reliance in him. Gardner quotes her as saying, "You can only depend on yourself. The cavalry ain't coming."Gardner also determined from his early experiences that alcoholism, domestic abuse, child abuse, illiteracy, fear and powerlessness were all things he wanted to avoid in the future.
The late 1960s and early 1970s was a time of political and musical awakening for Gardner. He developed a deep sense of black pride, as he became familiar with the works of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver. His world view expanded beyond the African American experience; he learned of historical events such as the Sharpeville massacre, and as a result became increasingly aware of apartheid in South Africa and international racial issues.
Inspired by his Uncle Henry's worldwide adventures in the U.S. Navy, Gardner decided to enlist when he finished secondary schooling. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for four years, where he was assigned as a corpsman. He became acquainted with a decorated San Francisco cardiac surgeon, Dr. Robert Ellis, who offered Gardner a position assisting him with innovative clinical research at the University of California Medical Center and Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco, California. Gardner accepted the position, and moved to San Francisco upon his discharge from the Navy in 1974. Over the course of two years, he learned how to manage a laboratory and to perform various surgical techniques. By 1976, he had been given full responsibility for a laboratory and had co-authored several articles with Dr. Ellis that were published in medical journals
Marriage and troubles:
On June 18, 1976, Chris Gardner married Sherry Dyson, a Virginia native and an educational expert in mathematics. With his knowledge, experience and contacts within the medical field, it appeared Gardner had his medical career plans laid out before him. However, with ten years of medical training ahead of him and with the changes in health care just on the horizon, he realized that the medical profession would be vastly different by the time he could practice medicine. Gardner was advised to consider more lucrative career options; a few days before his 26th birthday, he informed his wife, Sherry, of his plans to abandon his dreams of becoming a doctor.
His relationship with Sherry was detached, in part because of his decision to abandon a medical career and also due to differences in their behavior. While still living with Sherry, he began an affair with a dental student named Jackie Medina, and she became pregnant with his child only a few months into the affair. After three years of marriage to Sherry, he left her to move in with Jackie and to prepare for fatherhood. Nine years elapsed before he and Sherry were legally divorced in 1986.
Their son, Christopher Medina Gardner, was born on January 28, 1981. Gardner worked as a research lab assistant at UCSF and at the Veterans' Hospital after leaving the service. His position as a research lab assistant only paid about $8,000 a year which was not enough for him to support a live-in girlfriend and a child. After four years, he quit these jobs and doubled his salary by taking a job as a medical equipment salesman.
Prompted by his son's inquiries about his own father, Gardner had previously been able to track down his biological father via telephone. With a higher income from his new job, Gardner was able to save enough money to travel to Monroe, Louisiana, where he and his son met Turner for the first time.
Gardner returned to San Francisco determined to succeed at business. A pivotal moment in his life occurred, after a sales call to a San Francisco General Hospital, when he encountered an impeccably-dressed man in a red Ferrari. Curious, Gardner asked the man about his career. The man told him he was a stock broker and, from that moment on, Gardner's career path was decided. Eventually, Gardner bought a Ferrari of his own from the famous basketball player, Michael Jordan. The Illinois license plate of Gardner's black Ferrari reads "NOT MJ".
It appeared that Gardner got his "break" when he was accepted into a training program at E.F. Hutton. He subsequently quit his sales job so that he could dedicate his time exclusively to training as a stock broker. Then he appeared at the office ready to work, only to discover that his hiring manager had been fired the week before. To make matters worse, Gardner's relationship with Jackie was falling apart. She accused him of beating her—an accusation that Gardner denies to this day—and left him, taking their son with her to the East Coast. He was taken to jail and a judge ordered that he stay there, for ten days, as punishment for being unable to pay $1,200 in parking tickets.
Gardner returned home from jail to find his apartment empty. His girlfriend and his son, along with all of his possessions (including his suits, shoes and business apparel), had disappeared. With no experience, no college education, virtually no connections, and with the same casual outfit he had been wearing on the day he was taken into custody, Gardner gained a position in Dean Witter Reynolds’ stock brokerage training program. However, with a monthly stipend of $1,000 (which is equal to $2204 in present day value), and no savings, he was unable to meet his living expenses.
Gardner worked to become a top trainee at Dean Witter Reynolds. He arrived at the office early and stayed late each day, persistently making calls to prospective clients with his goal being 200 calls/day. His perseverance paid off when, in 1982, Gardner passed his licensing exam on the first try and became a full employee of the firm. Eventually, Gardner was recruited by Bear Stearns & Company in San Francisco.
About four months after Jackie disappeared with their son, she returned and left him with Gardner. By then, he was able to afford a small rent and was rooming in a flophouse. He willingly accepted sole custody of his child; however, the rooming house where he lived did not allow children. Although he was gainfully employed, Gardner and his son secretly struggled with homelessness while he saved money for a rental house in Berkeley, California.
Meanwhile, none of Gardner's co-workers knew that he and his son were homeless in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco for nearly a year. Gardner often scrambled to place his child in daycare, stood in soup lines and slept wherever he and his son could find safety—in his office after hours, at flophouses, at parks and even in a locked bathroom at the Bay Area Rapid Transit station.
Concerned for Chris Jr.’s well-being, Gardner asked Reverend Cecil Williams to allow them to stay at the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church’s shelter for homeless women, now known as The Cecil Williams Glide Community House. Williams agreed without hesitation. Today, when asked what he remembers about being homeless, Christopher Gardner, Jr. recalls "I couldn't tell you that we were homeless, I just knew that we were always having to go. So, if anything, I remember us just moving, always moving."
In 1987, Chris Gardner established the brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co, in Chicago, Illinois, an "institutional brokerage firm specializing in the execution of debt, equity and derivative products transactions for some of the nation’s largest institutions, public pension plans and unions." His new company was started in his small Presidential Towers apartment, with start-up capital of $10,000 and a single piece of furniture: a wooden desk that doubled as the family dinner table. Gardner reportedly owns 75 percent of his stock brokerage firm with the rest owned by a hedge fund. He chose the name "Gardner Rich" for the company because he considers Marc Rich, the commodities trader pardoned by former president Bill Clinton in 2001, "one of the most successful futures traders in the world.
After Gardner sold his small stake in Gardner Rich in a multi-million dollar deal in 2006, he became CEO and founder of Christopher Gardner International Holdings, with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. During a visit to South Africa to observe elections around the time of the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid, Gardner met with Nelson Mandela to discuss possible investment in South African emerging markets as indicated in his 2006 autobiography. Gardner is reportedly developing an investment venture with South Africa that will create hundreds of jobs and introduce millions in foreign currency into the nation. Gardner has declined to disclose details of the project citing securities laws.