Will Smith, Chris Gardner and Oprah

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Chris has come a long way since he was homeless and raising a young son on the streets. Chris landed his first brokerage job in 1981 and went on to work at several firms. He established his own brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co., in 1987. "I found a business that I absolutely love," Chris says.

Chris is a business powerhouse with a multimillion dollar financial empire. He drives a Bentley and has a closet filled with custom-made suits and designer shoes. "I'm having fun with my life. I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing," Chris says. "And this vision I've had in my head? I get to see it become a reality. It's an absolute blessing."

One moment Chris will never forget is when he and his son moved into their first house. "To explain to your child that, 'No, son, we have a key now. We're home. We don't have to carry things anymore,'" Chris says. "There are no words to tell you what that felt like. The only way I can express it would be if I could levitate myself off of this chair."
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FROM: Homeless to Hollywood: Will Smith and the Real Chris Gardner
Published on November 22, 2006

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