Don Draper

Fictional Character
Date Of Birth:
Best Known As:
The hunky lead character of the TV show Mad Men

Don Draper is the mysterious, brusque, womanizing advertising genius at the heart of the TV show Mad Men. A super-stylish look at the culture of mass-market advertising in the early 1960s, Mad Men premiered on the cable channel AMC in 2007 and remained a hit until the end of its run in 2015. As the series began, Don Draper was the creative director at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency in New York City. As played by Jon Hamm, Draper was charismatic and creative, a heavy smoker and drinker, a wearer of sharp business suits, a steely-eyed boss, and a champion adulterer who slept around aggressively despite being married (at first) to the beautiful Betty Draper (played by January Jones). He was also hiding a secret: he was born as Dick Whitman, was later orphaned, and then remade himself as Don Draper after he secretly switched identities with a fellow soldier who was killed next to him during the Korean War. The show followed Don Draper's creative triumphs and crashes and personal dramas as he juggled his job, his affairs, his wife and kids, his divorce and remarriage, and his secret identity.

Extra Credit:

The term ‘Mad Men’ is a play on Madison Avenue, the Manhattan address for many advertising agencies in the 1960s and 1970s… Don Draper’s name is, in part, a nod to Draper Daniels, a Chicago advertising man of the 1960s and 1970s… Don and Betty Draper had three kids in the show: Sally, Bobby, and Eugene (or “Gene”), the latter child being named for Betty’s late father. Don and Betty were divorced in season three, and he later married (and then divorced) his former secretary, Megan Calvet (played by Jessica Paré).

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