Sherry Dyson: Chris Gardner’s First Wife and Her Life Journey- Age, Family, career, Death, Wiki Bio

Sherry Dyson Gardner, born in 1950 in Virginia, United States, may not be as widely recognized as her famous ex-husband, but her influence on Chris Gardner’s life and career is immeasurable. She was not just the beloved wife of Chris Gardner; she was his steadfast anchor during tumultuous times, his unwavering support system, and the quiet force that played a pivotal role in his path to success.

In this exploration, we delve into the life of Sherry Dyson Gardner, a woman whose story, though less told, is equally inspiring. It’s a story of love, resilience, and the crucial role she played in the pursuit of their own unique brand of “happyness.”

Sherry’s Profile Summary

Full NameSherry Dyson Gardner
Date of Birth1950
Place of BirthVirginia, United States
SpouseChris Gardner
StepsonChristopher Jarrett Gardner Jr.
Step DaughterJacintha Darlene Gardner
Hair ColourBlack
Eye ColourBlack
Famous forBeing the first wife of Chris Gardner
MarriageChris Gardner (m. 1977–1986)
Net Worth at the Time of Death$100,000

Early Life and Family of Sherry Dyson

Sherry Dyson Gardner’s journey began in the heart of Virginia, a place steeped in history and tradition. Born in 1950, she was raised in a warm and polite family, where values were held in high regard. Her early years in Virginia would lay the foundation for the remarkable woman she would become.

In this southern state, Sherry’s family was not only a reflection of its cultural richness but also a source of inspiration. Her mother, a schoolteacher, imparted to her not just knowledge but also a strong sense of purpose. Education was not just a profession for her mother; it was a calling, and young Sherry was a firsthand witness to the impact of a dedicated educator on impressionable minds.

Her father, a funeral director, provided another facet to her upbringing. His profession, though often associated with solemnity, taught Sherry the importance of compassion, empathy, and the delicate art of comforting those in distress. The lessons she learned from her father’s profession would later play a role in shaping her character and resilience.

However, Sherry’s idyllic upbringing took a tragic turn when she was just a young girl. A horrific mishap, brought about by human error, led to the unthinkable loss of both her parents. At the tender age of six, Sherry was thrust into a world of adversity and loss that would test her strength and resilience in ways few can imagine. It was in the crucible of this tragedy that the indomitable spirit of Sherry Dyson Gardner began to emerge, laying the groundwork for the extraordinary life that lay ahead.

Education and Passion for Mathematics

Sherry Dyson Gardner’s pursuit of education was a testament to her determination and love for learning. After enduring the tragic loss of her parents at a young age, Sherry embarked on an educational journey that would ultimately shape her future and reveal her passion for mathematics.

Her early education began in her hometown school, where she laid the groundwork for her academic pursuits. It was here that her innate curiosity and thirst for knowledge began to shine through, marking the early stages of her remarkable journey.

However, it was at Morgan State University where Sherry’s educational path truly flourished. She set her sights on a degree in mathematics, driven by a deep-seated passion for the subject. Mathematics was not merely a subject of study for Sherry; it was a calling, a vocation she was determined to pursue with unwavering dedication.

Her journey at Morgan State University was not just about acquiring knowledge; it was about fulfilling her dream of becoming a teacher. Sherry recognized that education had the power to transform lives, just as it had transformed hers. Her desire to impart the beauty of mathematics to others was a reflection of her belief in the profound impact that education could have on individuals and communities.

As Sherry delved deeper into the world of mathematics, her commitment to the subject only grew stronger. Her academic pursuits were driven not just by a thirst for personal achievement but also by a genuine passion for sharing the wonders of mathematics with future generations.

Sherry Dyson’s Love Story with Chris Gardner

In the annals of love stories that defy the odds, the union of Sherry Dyson Gardner and Chris Gardner stands as a testament to the power of love, resilience, and unwavering support. Their journey began in 1977, a year that would mark the start of a whirlwind romance that would change their lives forever.

Sherry and Chris Gardner’s paths crossed, and from the moment they met, a spark ignited between them. Their connection was instantaneous, a magnetic pull that drew them closer with each passing day. Despite the challenges that lay ahead, they chose to embark on a journey of love and commitment that would define their lives.

In 1981, their love story reached a new milestone with the birth of their son, Christopher Jarrett Medina Gardner. The arrival of their child added a new dimension to their lives, reinforcing their bond and commitment to one another. Sherry and Chris embraced the joys and responsibilities of parenthood with open hearts, determined to provide the best for their growing family.

Sherry Dyson's son

However, their path was not without its share of hardships, particularly when it came to finances. They faced financial challenges that tested their resolve and determination. At times, the specter of homelessness loomed over them, casting a shadow of uncertainty. Yet, it was during these trying moments that Sherry’s unwavering support and Chris’s unyielding determination shone the brightest.

Their love, resilience, and shared commitment to their son became their guiding light through the darkest of times. They weathered the storms of financial adversity together, leaning on each other for strength and support. Sherry’s steadfast belief in Chris and her unwavering encouragement were pillars of strength that helped him navigate the turbulent waters of life.

The Role of Sherry in Chris’s Success

Sherry Dyson's Husband

Beyond the glitz and glamour of success stories, the true essence of triumph often lies in the unwavering support of a partner. In the case of Sherry Dyson Gardner and Chris Gardner, their marriage was not only a union of hearts but also a partnership that would prove pivotal in Chris’s extraordinary journey to success.

Throughout their marriage, Sherry was a steadfast and unwavering source of support for Chris. Her belief in him was unwavering, even during their most trying moments. When financial hardships threatened to overwhelm them, it was Sherry’s faith in Chris’s dreams that provided the motivation to persevere. Her unshakable confidence in his abilities served as a constant reminder that they could overcome any obstacle together.

Emotionally, Sherry was a rock for Chris during their most difficult moments. She provided not just a shoulder to lean on but also a wellspring of encouragement and resilience. In the face of adversity, her calming presence and words of wisdom were a source of strength that allowed Chris to weather the storms of life.

It was in these moments of crisis that Sherry’s contributions to Chris’s success truly shone. Her sacrifices and unwavering belief in him fueled his determination to carve a path to success. She became his anchor, providing the stability and support needed to navigate the tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship and personal growth.

As Chris Gardner’s career as an entrepreneur and motivational speaker began to take shape, he often spoke about the profound importance of having a strong support system. Sherry was not just a silent partner in his journey; she was a driving force, a guiding light that helped him overcome his challenges and reach for the stars.

The Divorce and Its Impact

Amid the highs and lows of life, sometimes even the strongest bonds can face challenges that test their resilience. For Sherry Dyson Gardner and Chris Gardner, their love story was no exception. The chapter that followed their early struggles was marked by the difficult decision to part ways, leading to their separation and eventual divorce.

The details of Sherry and Chris’s separation and divorce have remained largely private, known to them and a few close confidants. The reasons behind their parting ways are a testament to the complexities that life can present, even to the most committed couples. While the specifics of their divorce are shrouded in privacy, the impact on both their lives was profound.

During this tumultuous period, they faced challenges and struggles as a family that were not unlike those they had encountered earlier in their journey. The emotional toll of divorce, especially with a young child involved, can be immense. Sherry and Chris navigated these challenging waters, striving to provide stability and love for their son, Christopher Jarrett Medina Gardner.

Their story, marked by triumphs and tribulations, was destined to be etched into the annals of inspiration. Chris Gardner’s decision to document his life journey in his autobiography, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” provided a platform to share their story with the world. This heartfelt account, which detailed the challenges and hardships that Sherry and Chris faced as a family, struck a chord with readers worldwide.

The impact of their story extended beyond the pages of a book. Hollywood recognized the compelling narrative, and “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a film starring Will Smith, was brought to life on the silver screen. The movie portrayed the struggles, sacrifices, and indomitable spirit of Sherry and Chris Gardner during their challenging times, shedding light on the profound resilience that allowed them to persevere.

While Sherry’s contributions to Chris’s success may have been less explored than those of his second wife, her role in his life and career remains a cornerstone of his journey. Their story serves as a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit, the power of unwavering love, and the pursuit of happiness in the face of adversity.

Sherry Dyson’s Post-Divorce Life

After the chapter of her life intertwined with Chris Gardner came to a close, Sherry Dyson Gardner made a deliberate choice to maintain a low profile. Her decision to step away from the public eye was a conscious one, reflecting her desire for privacy and a semblance of normalcy after a period marked by both triumphs and tribulations.

While details about Sherry’s post-divorce life are not publicly known, her choice to embrace a life away from the spotlight suggests a resolute determination to focus on her personal journey. It raises the possibility that she may have pursued her own career or interests, perhaps seeking solace and fulfillment in pursuits that were close to her heart.

Throughout her life, Sherry’s enduring strength and character shone brightly. From her early years marked by tragedy and loss to her unwavering support of Chris Gardner during their marriage, she displayed a remarkable resilience that left an indelible mark on those who knew her.

Sherry Dyson Gardner’s legacy is one of quiet strength and grace, of standing beside a partner through life’s challenges, and of choosing a path of personal fulfillment away from the public gaze.

Her story serves as a reminder that sometimes the most profound acts of courage and resilience occur away from the spotlight, in the quiet corners of life where individuals forge their own paths and define their own destinies.

Sherry Dyson’s Passing

On April 7, 2000, the world lost a remarkable woman as Sherry Dyson Gardner passed away at the age of 50. Her departure marked the end of a life that had touched the hearts of those who knew her and stood as a source of inspiration for many.

While the details surrounding her passing are private, her legacy continues to resonate. Sherry Dyson Gardner’s impact extended far beyond her connection to Chris Gardner. She was a woman of strength, resilience, and unwavering support, qualities that left an indelible mark on the lives of those fortunate enough to have known her.

Her legacy lives on in the enduring lessons of perseverance and courage that defined her life. Sherry’s journey, from a tragic childhood to a life marked by both hardships and triumphs, serves as a testament to the human spirit’s capacity to overcome adversity.


In the tapestry of extraordinary life stories, Sherry Dyson Gardner’s legacy shines brightly. Born in 1950 in Virginia, her life was marked by tragedy and triumph, resilience and unwavering support. While she is often remembered as the former spouse of Chris Gardner, her life was a tapestry woven with diverse threads, and her contributions deserve recognition and celebration.

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