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 stock broker and eventually founded his own brokerage firm Gardner Rich & Co in 1987. In 2006, Gardner sold his minority stake in the firm and published a memoir. That book was made into the motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith.