Chris Gardner is an American entrepreneur, single father and international speaker, author of the book The Pursuit of Happyness The pursuit of happyness , in English. This work quickly became a best-seller that was translated into more than 40 languages, including 6 Chinese dialects. In , The Pursuit of Happyness it also inspired a movie that bore the same name as the book. Critics praised both the film and Will Smith's lead performance. Later, in , he published his second book, titled Start where you are Start where you are , in English , which was published in May , just one year after the global financial crisis. This work was also successful but not quite comparable to the success of his previous book. As a lecturer, Gardner spends days a year traveling the world speaking on crowded stages. His followers are motivated by the concepts developed in his lectures: universal dream, the C-5 plan and empowerment. Chris only knew his father's name - Thomas Turner - because he never took care of him. He lived all the time with his mother Bettye Jean Gardner and Freddie Triplett, his stepfather, whom his mother married when Chris was a child. On the other hand, Chris had an older half sister named Ophelia, a product of his mother's previous relationship with a married school teacher named Samuel Salter. He also had two other younger half-sisters born to the Triplett-Gardner union, Sharon and Kimberly. According to her biography, living with her stepfather was not pleasant. Both Chris and his mother were frequently victims of Freddie's episodes of violence and alcoholism. He especially remembered an event in which a complaint from his stepfather sent his mother to jail for several years. During his mother's incarceration, Chris lived with maternal uncles in Milwaukee. During this time, her aunt instilled in her an intense love of reading. He was assigned to serve at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina where he was for a four-year term. There he met Robert Ellis, a renowned American cardiac surgeon, who suggested that he join the research team at San Francisco Veterans Hospital. In , the young Gardner left the Navy and took up the position of a clinical research assistant at the hospital. Over the next two years, Gardner performed impeccably in his position. He took over a clinical laboratory in and, at the same time, was writing medical articles together with Ellis. However, this job did not pay him enough, and he was forced to start working as a medical equipment salesman. On one occasion, while serving as a salesman, he saw a well-dressed man driving a Ferrari and curiosity flooded his mind. He wondered what kind of job the driver would have to have these kinds of luxuries. Decidedly, Chris stopped the chauffeur and struck up a conversation with him. This is how he learned his name and profession: Bob Bridges, stockbroker. As time passed, they became friends and Bridges trained Chris Gardner in the world of stock trading. Chris Gardner tried his hand at numerous brokerage training companies. In all of them he devoted all his enthusiasm to his training. He even quit his job as a salesperson for a while to devote more time to his training. Soon, he was hired by the New York brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds as an apprentice, without pay.
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