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Where did George H.W. Bush get his literacy socks? A man with down syndrome made them

Posted at 10:51 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 19:19:35-04

MELVILLE, NY (WCBS/CNN) - Former president George H.W. Bush garnered attention over the weekend for the "literacy" socks he wore to his wife's funeral.

It turns out a Long Island man is behind those socks.

“Purple and blue are down syndrome socks," John Cronin explained.

Inside Cronin's warehouse in Melville, NY, he has more than 1,900 different kinds of socks. But he is running low on one particular design.

"There's just one of them," he explained.

That's because former president George H. W. Bush is getting the socks some national attention. He wore the pair, covered with books, to his late wife's funeral this past weekend.

"I am very happy for that," Cronin said.

The 22-year-old Huntington man has down syndrome. But with the help of his dad, they started the company John's Crazy Socks at the end of 2016.

Now, they employ more than 30 people. Half of them have "differing disabilities."

"We are in the business of showing what people can do and president Bush has a strong connection there. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act," said Mark Cronin, John’s father.

The Cronins knew Bush and many others were going to wear the socks because they received a phone call last week requesting several pairs of a specific design.

"Wanting some socks that he and his family can wear to show their support for Mrs. Bush's legacy, specifically her commitment to literacy," Mark Cronin said.

So, they rush delivered 20 pairs of socks designed by "mod socks."

"When we saw that picture, it brought tears, for me, that special bond between my son and a former president," Mark Cronin recalled.

It's not the first time the former president wore the Long Island man's socks. On World Down Syndrome Day, he sported Cronin's superhero socks, which John Cronin designed himself.

"So happy he wore my superhero socks," he said.

And it still has him smiling from ear to ear.

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