The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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Chris Burke Announces Retirement from NDSS

Chris Burke, best known for his role of Charles “Corky” Thacher on the ABC show “Life Goes On” and who has spent more than the last 20 years on staff with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), will be retiring from the organization in October. Chris has held his role on staff since he started with NDSS in 1994.

“Chris paved the way for people with Down syndrome to follow their own career aspirations,” said Sara Hart Weir, President of NDSS. “Chris was a trailblazer for our Down syndrome community, he broke down many of the first barriers to employment for individuals with Down syndrome and was the face of many of our early public awareness campaigns for NDSS and the Down syndrome community.”

“It has been wonderful and I learned a lot from NDSS. As Goodwill Ambassador, newsletter editor, Self-Advocate Advisory Board Member, and an administrative assistant, I have had a great experience,” said Chris Burke.  “I don't want to leave but my heart is telling me I have to. I will miss all of you and will say, well, Life Goes On!”

Burke rose to fame with his role on “Life Goes On” and in 1990 was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a series. In addition to the role on Life Goes On, Burke appeared in The Commish, Touched by an Angel and ER.

Outside of his work on screen, Burke has been an advocate for people with Down syndrome. Burke has traveled the globe giving speeches, making appearances and motivating people to realize that a disability should not hold one back from achieving what they want in life.

NDSS Board Chairman Rob Taishoff said, “Chris has been an inspiration to generations of people across the country with disabilities. Throughout his lifetime, Chris has given hope to millions of families who may not have known what to expect when given a diagnosis that their child has Down syndrome. Seeing what he has accomplished makes every parent realize that their child will be able to achieve great things.”

“Chris has been an integral part of our organization for the last 21 years and one of our most dedicated colleagues,” said Weir. “There will be definitely be a void on our team but Chris will always remain a member of our NDSS family and we wish him the very best in his retirement.”    

“Thank you all for the wonderful memories that I have,” said Burke. “Thank you all and good luck!”

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