This young entrepreneur with Down syndrome helped President Bush with sweet sock tribute to Barbara


HOUSTON – At former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral, President George H. W. Bush wore book-theme socks, a sweet gesture to remember his late wife’s devotion to literacy. 

However, those socks were also a tribute to the former president’s friendship with a young entrepreneur with Down syndrome.

John Cronin, who has Down syndrome, runs a business with his father called John’s Crazy Socks. He and the former president bonded over their love of crazy socks, and Cronin has sent Bush boxes of his socks over the years. 

In March, Bush sent a letter to John thanking him for the socks: 

"Dear John,
Thank you so much for the generous gift. I am happy to see that you and I have the same taste in fun, colorful socks…We knew that people with disabilities like Down syndrome are capable of doing amazing things if they are given the opportunity. You are a wonderful example of what Americans can do despite the challenges that they face. We are proud of all that you have accomplished.”

“I loved it,” John said, according to a news release from the company. “I couldn't believe that I got a letter from President Bush.”

On World Down Syndrome Day, Bush wore Cronin’s socks and tweeted about them, writing, “Yesterday, I was inspired by my friend John Cronin to wear these beauties from @JohnsCrazySocks for World Down Syndrome Day.” 



In a news release on the John’s Crazy Socks website, Cronin’s company noted that while Bush was president he signed into law the American with Disabilities Act, which “changed the world for so many.”

When Mrs. Bush died, Cronin sent a letter expressing his condolences, and Bush’s representatives contacted Cronin asking him for socks that the president and his family could wear to honor Mrs. Bush. John sent a box of book-themed socks made by ModSocks. 

Jim McGrath, President Bush’s spokesperson, shared this tweet on the day of Mrs. Bush’s funeral:
To honor his wife of 73 years and her commitment to family literacy, for which she raised over $110 million over the course of over 30 years,@GeorgeHWBush will be wearing a pair of socks festooned with books at today’s funeral service for former First Lady Barbara Bush.




Cronin was moved to tears when he saw the president wearing his socks in tribute to his late wife, the news release said. 

“I wanted to make President Bush happy with the socks because I know he loved Mrs. Bush,” Cronin said.

In honor of Mrs. Bush, and to recognize all President Bush has done for people facing disabilities,

John’s Crazy Socks has now re-named those socks the Library Socks for Literacy. The company said its profits from the each pair sold will benefit the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation.

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