Characters

Don DraperPlayed by Jon Hamm

MMS7B-Don-590

Don Draper has made a career selling the promise of happiness, but the reality continues to elude him. His marriage to Betty appeared picture-perfect, yet Don always felt he was missing something, seeking comfort in affairs, alcohol and an obsessive dedication to his advertising agency. Hoping for a second chance, Don marries Megan, but her independence leaves him feeling rejected, and he returns to his self-destructive behavior. Throughout his personal struggles, Don pursues challenges at work, starting a new agency with his partners, then merging with his rival in the pursuit of bigger business. But professional success does not provide the solace Don seeks, and he cannot escape the feeling that he is a fraud, finally revealing his impoverished childhood in a meeting with Hershey’s. With a chance to walk away, Don instead finds a renewed hunger for his work and starts again from the beginning, working his way up in his own company and striving to build more meaningful relationships with his colleagues and his children.

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 7 »

 

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”