In an interview, Matthew Weiner acknowledged that Don Draper was partly inspired by the real Draper Daniels, the creative head of Leo Burnett in Chicago, in the 1950's. Recently, Daniels’ wife Myra Janco wrote an article about being married to a "Mad Man" for ChicagoMag.com. So what do Don Draper and Draper Daniels have in common? And what don’t they?
They definitely look alike don’t they?
They also both lead a decadent lifestyle and are pretty damn good at what they do. But sadly, the similarities end there.
According to Myra, Draper was a romantic. The article is full of adorable moments that would make Don cringe. Draper seems to genuinely adore his wife, and he became a one-woman man after he got married. He also quit drinking when his wife told him to.
In an excerpt from the article:
“I was cleaning out his old highboy chest and I found two rolls of nickels in a drawer…I thought
immediately of Vivian Hill [who] would often…say things like, 'I’ll bet you two rolls of nickels that Procter & Gamble is going to move from this agency to that agency'…I rang her up and said, 'Vivian, the strangest thing happened. I opened up the drawer to Dan’s old highboy and I found two rolls of nickels, like the kind I would sometimes win from you.' And she started laughing.
I said, 'Why are you laughing?'
'Didn’t he ever tell you?'
'Tell me what?'
So Vivian told me…The morning after I had met Dan in 1965—the night we talked for five hours, then went out for hamburgers at the Wrigley Building—he had gone to visit Vivian and said that he wanted to buy the company. I knew that part, but I didn’t know the rest of it. He also told her, 'Vivian, just for your information, within two years that woman is going to be Mrs. Daniels.' She bet him two rolls of nickels that he was wrong. The day after we were married, in 1967, she paid off the bet.
Dan kept the nickels.”
It’s interesting to note that Don’s ‘secret drawer’ is full of lies while Draper’s contained a token of his love for his wife.
And Draper worked for the Kennedy administration…go figure.
Links referenced: Chicagomag.com and Styles I Love.