Sock-Selling Multi-Millionaire With Down Syndrome Fights For Change

John Cronin’s mission is to “spread happiness” but he is using his story for something far more important: advocating the rights of people with disabilities.



John Cronin was born with Down syndrome but that did not stop him from building a multi-million sock empire and now he is out in the world, fighting for the rights of other people with disabilities.

Soon after Cronin graduated high school in 2016, he wanted to venture into the sock business with his father, Mark Cronin; his idea turned into an immensely popular empire, John’s Crazy Socks.

In a short span of time, Cronin’s business made a lot of fans, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The mission of the business is to “spread happiness” but Cronin is using his story and position for something far more important: advocating the rights of people with disabilities.

Cronin's father said they usually try to hire people with some form of disability to show that everyone can be successful if given the chance.

They also designed awareness socks for Down syndrome, and the item is one of their most famous pieces. The sock, designed exclusively by Cronin, features the number 3, referring to the number of chromosomes responsible for causing Down syndrome. A percentage of money from each sold pair goes to a cause that supports Down syndrome.

Cronin and his father have also visited Capitol Hill to demand fair wages for people with disabilities.

“We’re advocating for the rights of disabled people to work and retain their earnings. In particular, one bill we’re looking to change in the states, there’s a Fair Labor Act, and section 14C of that says that workers can pay disabled employees less than minimum wage. And we think that’s outrageous. So we’re working with the National Down Syndrome Society to get that rule changed,” Cronin’s father explained.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a participation rate of 21.5 for working-age people with disability in March 2018 compared to the rate of 68.4 of people without any disability. The employment status shows a deep disparity in the occupational opportunities presented to disabled people in America. Cronin seeks to share his story of success to specifically change that demographic.

He sent a box of socks to Trudeau when he discovered the Canadian PM was a fan of colorful socks. He received a “lovely” letter of thanks from Trudeau.

Cronin now has a variety of 1,200 socks with wild themes and colors, including one with Trudeau’s face on it.

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Pixabay

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