Characters

Don DraperPlayed by Jon Hamm

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Don befriends a pioneering heart surgeon but poisons the friendship by carrying on an affair with the doctor’s wife. After merging his agency with Cutler Gleason Chaough, Don repeatedly humiliates his new partner Ted Chaough, creatively and personally, especially when it becomes clear that love is blossoming between Ted and Peggy. In the turmoil of his business relationships, his obsessive affair, and a dalliance with his ex-wife, Don was visited repeatedly by visions of his squalid upbringing in a whorehouse. When his daughter Sally catches him half-naked in the arms of his mistress, Don’s shame overwhelms him and he has a breakdown in a client meeting with Hershey, telling the story of his destitute childhood. He found redemption in sacrificing his hope for a fresh start to allow Ted Chaough to have one instead, then revealed to his children the truth of his past.

Read the Ad Age interview with Don Draper »
View Don Draper's three-year contract for Sterling Cooper from Season 3 »
Video: Don Draper for Season 4 »

 

Don Draper Quotes

“Advertising is based on happiness. We make the lie, we invent want.”
Season 1, Episode 1: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”
“I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.”
Season 1, Episode 1: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”
“It wasn’t a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover.”
Season 1, Episode 3: “Marriage of Figaro”
“Mourning is just extended self-pity.”
Season 1, Episode 6: “Babylon”
“I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.”
Season 1, Episode 7: “The Hobo Code”
“The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.’”
Season 1, Episode 10: “Long Weekend”
“Just think about it deeply, then forget it…then an idea will jump up in your face.”
Season 1, Episode 11: “Indian Summer”
“You don’t cover for me. You manage people’s expectations.”
Season 2, Episode 3: “The Benefactor”
“Get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”
Season 2, Episode 5: “The New Girl”
“You want to be on vacation Pete? Because I can make that happen.”
Season 2, Episode 11: “The Jet Set”
“There will be fat years and there will be lean years, but it is going to rain.”
Season 3, Episode 1: “Out of Town”
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
Season 3, Episode 2: “Love Among the Ruins”
“Change isn’t good or bad. It just is.”
Season 3, Episode 2: “Love Among the Ruins”
“Maybe I’m late because I was spending time with my family reading the Bible.”
Season 3, Episode 7: “Seven Twenty Three”
“Believe me, Henry, everybody thinks this is temporary.”
Season 4, Episode 1: “Public Relations”
“I don’t hate Christmas, I just hate this Christmas.”
Season 4, Episode 2: “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”
“Why does everybody need to talk about everything?”
Season 4, Episode 5: “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”
“Peggy, I’m glad this is an environment where you feel free to fail.”
Season 4, Episode 7: “The Suitcase”
“Ida was a hellcat?… Cooper lost his balls?… Roger’s writing a book?”
Season 4, Episode 7: “The Suitcase”
“I should’ve finished high school. Everything could’ve been different.”
Season 4, Episode 8: “The Summer Man”
“You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself.”
Season 4, Episode 8: “The Summer Man”
“People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.”
Season 4, Episode 8: “The Summer Man”
“We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.”
Season 4, Episode 8: “The Summer Man”
“I would have my secretary do it, but she’s dead.”
Season 4, Episode 9: “The Beautiful Girls”
“We’re gonna sit at our desks typing while the walls fall down around us. Because we’re the least important, most important thing there is.”
Season 4, Episode 12: “Blowing Smoke”