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The Pursuit of Happyness: Chris Gardner

Childhood Inspiration

Mississippi, U.S.

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 positive father figure. However, 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.