Beloved McDonald’s Employee With Down Syndrome Retires After 30 Years On The Job

down syndrome russell o grady

A man with Down Syndrome, Russell O’Grady, who worked for 32 years at a McDonald’s restaurant, recently retired in December and was honored by his community.

For three days every week, O’Grady would faithfully walk to his shift at the Northmead McDonald’s. O’Grady’s job was to greet customers and keep the store presentable.

Wynn Visser/JobSupport

McDonald’s supervisor Courtney Purcell had this to say about O’Grady:

We’ve got regular customers who come in to see Russell on Thursday and Friday, and the staff looks after him, so we’re going to miss him.fff

Russell O’Grady is very popular in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. So much so, that a special celebration was held in his honor for his retirement:

Beloved McDonald’s Employee Russell O’Grady Made Waves for People with Disabilities Over 3 Decades

This beloved McDonald’s employee is retiring after 32 years at the restaurant, where he paved the way for others with Down syndrome

Posted by NowThis on Thursday, December 20, 2018

Wynn Visser is the assistant manager of JobSupport, a company that assists intellectually challenged people in finding paid employment.

Visser speaks very highly of O’Grady, telling News Corp:

Russell’s impact on people in his community is without doubt exceptional.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Davie’s Heroes 💪🏼 (@daviesheroes) on

O’Grady was an ambassador for McDonald’s and for those with learning disabilities.

He was one of the first 100 people with intellectual disabilities to obtain regular employment in Australia. Paving the way for others.


O’Grady’s jobs ranged from preparing party boxes, cleaning and clearing trays, sweeping the floors. He has an infectious personality and was a very popular greeter because of it.

When asked if he was handicapped he would reply,

“I used to be when I went to school, but now I go to work.”

O’Grady retired due to health concerns due to aging and will now spend his free time with his dog, at the gym, and bowling.