Christopher Gardner - Self-made Millionaire and Author


Christopher Gardner - Self-made Millionaire and Author





Self-made millionaire and author of the autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness "Breaking the Cycle"

Christopher Gardner, who told his story of rising from poverty to self-made millionaire in his autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness, presented "Breaking the Cycle" as part of Wright State University's Presidential Lecture Series on Monday, Sept. 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Apollo Room.

In The Pursuit of Happyness, Gardner tells how he overcame a lack of education, the struggles of being a single parent and homelessness to become CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, an institutional brokerage firm. His autobiography quickly became a New York Times #1 bestseller and was made into a movie of the same name starring Will Smith.

In the early 1980s, Gardner became homeless in San Francisco and the sole guardian of his toddler son, Chris Jr. Unwilling to give up on his son or his dream of financial independence, Gardner started at the bottom of the financial industry ladder with very little pay, spending nights in homeless shelters or the bathroom of a subway station. With no college degree and no experience in the stock market, he worked his way up the ranks at Dean Witter Reynolds and Bear Stearns & Co. before starting his own company.

In his presentation, Gardner shared his story of hard work, tenacity, struggle, faith, entrepreneurialism, fatherly devotion and breaking the cycles that hold you back.

The Wright State University Presidential Lecture Series was developed to advance human justice and promote the university's commitment to creating a diverse university community and learning environment.

A board member of the National Fatherhood Initiative, which aims to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, committed fathers, Gardner received the group's Father of the Year Award in 2002. He has given his time, assistance and financial support to many programs serving the homeless and at-risk individuals. He received the 2006 Friends of Africa Award from the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce.

This free-to-the-public lecture was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Student Affairs, the Raj Soin College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Curriculum and Instruction, University College, the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Visit for more information on Christopher Gardner.


This event took place at the Student Union.

Christopher Gardner - Self-made Millionaire and Author