Up to the Season 3 finale, Draper was creative director of fictional Manhattan advertising firm Sterling Cooper. He then became a founding partner at a new firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, after he and his superiors left their previous agency in advance of an unwanted acquisition. Donald Francis Draper is revealed through flashbacks to be the assumed identity of Richard "Dick" Whitman,  born in Illinois in to a prostitute and an abusive, alcoholic farmer, Archibald "Archie" Whitman Joseph Culp. His mother died in labor , and his father was kicked to death by a spooked horse, which the year-old Dick witnessed. Dick was raised primarily by a stepmother , Archie's wife Abigail Brynn Horrocks , who treated him cruelly because she saw him as a reminder of her husband's infidelity. She had a son named Adam, who was Dick's half-brother. The one person to show him any kindness as a child was his stepfather, "Uncle Mack" Morgan Rusler , who taught him how to survive in the real world. Mack was "with" Abigail's sister and ran the brothel where Dick and Adam grew up after leaving the family farm.
Don Draper's checkered past and secret identity significantly affected his character arc across Mad Men 's seven-season run. He begins the series as the hot-shot Creative Director of Sterling Cooper, an advertising agency in s New York, but spirals into an identity crisis after being forced to confront his past sins. While Don's bad habits namely smoking, drinking, and cheating on his wife are on full display in the early half of season 1, Don's past lurks in the shadows. On the outside, he's a made man - devilishly handsome and chillingly confident; with a wife and two kids in the suburbs; along with a well-paying job in a lucrative industry - but we slowly discover that it's all an act. Don takes to existential brooding, intensely and often. He makes rash decisions in the heat of the moment and drinks whiskey before breakfast. The so-called "American Dream" is clearly not all it's cracked up to be, and the audience is encouraged to examine its paper-thin facade. After a run-in with his estranged half-brother, Adam Jay Paulson , Don has flashbacks to his childhood during the Great Depression. Back then, his name was Dick Whitman - the illegitimate son of a prostitute and a drunk; dirt poor, and abused by his stepmother. The delivery is intercepted by Pete Campbell Vincent Kartheiser , Don's suspicious underling, who takes the shoe-box home.
Have a Seat ". He is regarded among his colleagues as the best to ever pitch copy. His true name is Richard "Dick" Whitman. He stole the identity of a dead officer during the Korean War. Born in , Richard "Dick" Whitman was the illegitimate child of a prostitute who died during childbirth. Dick lived with his father, Archie Whitman, and his father's wife, Abigail Whitman, until he was 10, at which time his father, a drunk, was kicked in the face by a horse and died. His stepmother, pregnant at the time, then "took up" with a new man, "Uncle Mack," and had another son, Dick's half-brother, whom she named Adam Whitman.
A number of people learned Don Draper's Jon Hamm true identity and real name of Dick Whitman during M ad Men but few knew the secretive ad executive's entire backstory. Mad Men doled out Don Draper's origin story to the audience but Don himself remained tight-lipped about who he really was under most circumstances. Richard "Dick" Whitman was the son of a farmer named Archibald Whitman Joseph Culp and a prostitute who died during childbirth. After his father died from being kicked in the head by a horse, Dick moved to Pennsylvania with Archibald's wife Abigail Brynn Horrocks and a different man, "Uncle Mack. Army and was sent to fight in the Korean War. Draper's body was burned and unrecognizable. Dick, wanting to leave Korea, switched his dog tags with Draper's and he was then mistaken for the Lieutenant by the Army medics. Dick assumed Don Draper's identity and returned to the United States. He moved to New York to become a used car dealer and a fur salesman who dabbled in advertising. By , Donald F.