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Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

Keynote Speaker: Author of "Pursuit of Happyness," Entrepreneur, Speaker & Philanthropist

Chris Gardner Biography

Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author and award winning film producer. Gardner’s autobiography, "The Pursuit of HappYness" became a New York Times #1 best seller, and has been translated into over forty languages; Gardner is also the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film The Pursuit of HappYness for which Will Smith received the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Academy Award nominations for his performance. Gardner's story of overcoming struggles like homelessness, domestic violence, and foster care has touched audiences worldwide.

Gardner’s second book, “Start Where You Are” also a best seller was published in 2009. Gardner’s new book “Permission to Dream” was selected as “Book Of The Month” by the Wall Street Journal upon its publication.

Gardner has won a Peabody Award for producing “And Still I Rise,” a documentary about the life of his dear friend and mentor Dr. Maya Angelou.

After ‘retiring’ from thirty-seven years in the financial services industry, Gardner has described himself as a 67 year old ‘start up’ with significant interest in fin tech. Gardner currently serves on the boards of Verify Me (VRME, NASDAQ), The Change Company (CDFI established by the U.S. Treasury Department) and Smart Easy Pay. In 2020, Gardner became the oldest “recruit” in the history of the United States Navy and has spoken on behalf of the United States Navy on the issues of recruiting and retention of talent at Career Development Symposiums (CDS) at naval bases and air stations globally.

Gardner’s major priority is the work of his foundation, The Christopher P. Gardner Foundation which is working to change the trajectory of young people’s lives. Gardner has described this effort as “making an alternative investment in human capital.” Gardner is currently doing a “tour” that will have him speak at 1,000 public schools all across America.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Chris Gardner and other top speakers and celebrities.

Chris Gardner Speaking Topics

Permission To Dream

Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he's been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life. The First is that when he grew up, became a man, and had children, his children were going to know who their father was. The Second was becoming World Class and the Third was joining the United States Navy. He will conclude by taking about the greatest gift that he ever received which was Permission 2 Dream.

Pursuit of Happyness and Overcoming Obtacles

Chris will share his story on his he went from homeless to owning his own stock brokerage firm and the challenges he experienced along the way. He will share how he overcame those obstacles and how he stayed motivated along the way.

Chris will also identify the importance of the “P’s” in our life. Keeping a Promise. He will share his promise, a promise he made to himself as a 5 year old boy; that when he grew up, become a man and have children, his children would know who their father would be. And second, that he was going to become world class at what ever he did in his life. Passion. What is that thing that turns you on so much that the sun can’t come up soon enough in the morning because you want to go do your thing? And finally having a Plan. He will explain how the plan has to have, what he calls, the C-5 Complex (Clear, Concise, Compelling, Consistent and Committed to the plan).

He will also talk about Empowerment, the idea of “I drove here” which means if “I drove here” then “I can drive out of here”. You can’t change something until you own it.

The only thing he wants you to leave with is to know that if Chris Gardner can do it, so can you.

Spiritual Genetics and a new vision of the Universal Dream

Chris Gardner will share some of the steps that he had to take and obstacles he overcame in order to get from where he was to creating the life that he wanted to live right now.

Through his presentation, he will introduce you to the concept of Spiritual Genetics that which makes you, You that has nothing to do with Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry or Physics. That Part of you that can not be measured analyzed or quantified- That of you that has nothing to do with Blood type DNA or pigmentation. That part of you that is beyond the scope, reach or understanding of science, medicine or technology.

He will also explain the concept of the Universal Dream, an idea that he learned from his mother, who said to him, “ Son, you can do or be anything you want to do or be.” Those words would be the driving force that would take him from being homeless with a baby to having his own successful stock brokerage firm. The Universal Dream also refers to the fact that where you are in your spirit is more important than where you are on the PLANET! The most important experiences in our lives feel the same whether you live in the USA or the UAE! Such as, the birth of a child, a graduation, a wedding a new job or the loss of a loved one. Those are all Universal Experiences that create a family called humanity.

Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream

Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he's been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life which include Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream. He will also share the greatest gift that he ever received which was the Permission 2 Dream.

Chris Gardner Videos

"CEO of Happyness" Chris Gardner teaches us how to choose joy
Simply AWESOME ITPM Interview with Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner - Keynote: Somewhere in the World - WE Day Illinois 2018

How do I book Chris Gardner to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Chris Gardner for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Chris Gardner, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Chris Gardner or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Chris Gardner for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Chris Gardner, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. For the most current speaking fee to hire Chris Gardner, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Chris Gardner speak about?

Chris Gardner is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Business, Inspirational, Success, Change, Personal Growth, Business Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Motivational, College, Overcoming Adversity, Authors, Leadership, Political, Social Activism, Finance, Sales, Human Resources, Resilience, Innovation and Entertainment.

Where does Chris Gardner travel from?

Chris Gardner generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Chris Gardner?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Chris Gardner for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Chris Gardner for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Chris Gardner or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

If you’re looking for the best speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.


Chris Gardner is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Business, Inspirational and Success. Please contact us for live or virtual event fee details. Chris Gardner generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Daymond John, Sugar Ray Leonard and Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Chris Gardner for an upcoming event.

Chris Gardner Speaking Topics

  • Permission To Dream

    Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he's been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life. The First is that when he grew up, became a man, and had children, his children were going to know who their father was. The Second was becoming World Class and the Third was joining the United States Navy. He will conclude by taking about the greatest gift that he ever received which was Permission 2 Dream.

  • Pursuit of Happyness and Overcoming Obtacles

    Chris will share his story on his he went from homeless to owning his own stock brokerage firm and the challenges he experienced along the way. He will share how he overcame those obstacles and how he stayed motivated along the way.

    Chris will also identify the importance of the “P’s” in our life. Keeping a Promise. He will share his promise, a promise he made to himself as a 5 year old boy; that when he grew up, become a man and have children, his children would know who their father would be. And second, that he was going to become world class at what ever he did in his life. Passion. What is that thing that turns you on so much that the sun can’t come up soon enough in the morning because you want to go do your thing? And finally having a Plan. He will explain how the plan has to have, what he calls, the C-5 Complex (Clear, Concise, Compelling, Consistent and Committed to the plan).

    He will also talk about Empowerment, the idea of “I drove here” which means if “I drove here” then “I can drive out of here”. You can’t change something until you own it.

    The only thing he wants you to leave with is to know that if Chris Gardner can do it, so can you.

  • Spiritual Genetics and a new vision of the Universal Dream

    Chris Gardner will share some of the steps that he had to take and obstacles he overcame in order to get from where he was to creating the life that he wanted to live right now.

    Through his presentation, he will introduce you to the concept of Spiritual Genetics that which makes you, You that has nothing to do with Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry or Physics. That Part of you that can not be measured analyzed or quantified- That of you that has nothing to do with Blood type DNA or pigmentation. That part of you that is beyond the scope, reach or understanding of science, medicine or technology.

    He will also explain the concept of the Universal Dream, an idea that he learned from his mother, who said to him, “ Son, you can do or be anything you want to do or be.” Those words would be the driving force that would take him from being homeless with a baby to having his own successful stock brokerage firm. The Universal Dream also refers to the fact that where you are in your spirit is more important than where you are on the PLANET! The most important experiences in our lives feel the same whether you live in the USA or the UAE! Such as, the birth of a child, a graduation, a wedding a new job or the loss of a loved one. Those are all Universal Experiences that create a family called humanity.

  • Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream

    Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he's been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life which include Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream. He will also share the greatest gift that he ever received which was the Permission 2 Dream.

Chris Gardner Videos

"CEO of Happyness" Chris Gardner teaches us how to choose joy
Simply AWESOME ITPM Interview with Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner - Keynote: Somewhere in the World - WE Day Illinois 2018
Chris Gardner on the Pursuit of Happiness | The Saturday Night Show

Chris Gardner Reviews

  • Fastly, Inc. - Jan 13 2021

  • I don't use the word perfect very often, but there is truly no better word to use. The high school seniors truly hung on every word Chris spoke. His question and answer session was unlike anything I had seen. All questions were mature, respectful, and relevant to the presentation. Chris said to me that it was the best group of young people he had ever spoken to. The evening presentation was equally impressive!
    Vincennes University - Jan 16 2018

Chris Gardner News

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