Gardner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 9, 1954, to Thomas Turner and Bettye Jean Gardner. Christopher Paul Gardner (born February 9, 1954) is an American businessman and motivational speaker. During the early 1980s, Gardner struggled with homelessness while raising a toddler son. He became a stockbroker and eventually founded his own brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co.

Christopher Jarrett Gardner was born on January 28, 1981. He is Jacintha Darlene's brother.

Jacintha Darlene Gardner was born on 5 October 1985. She is the daughter of Chris Gardner.

After Gardner had found a home, he resumed contact with Jackie and had a second child with her in 1985 – a daughter named Jacintha. Gardner turned down Jackie’s offer for the two to get back together in a relationship but arranged for Chris Jr. and Jacintha to stay with Jackie during his long hours at work.