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'Mad Men': Don Draper's 1962 Life In 2012 Dollars

Posted: 03/21/2012 4:25 pm Updated: 03/22/2012 7:30 pm

Jon Hamm Mad Men
Jon Hamm, a cast member in the television series "Mad Men," glances at photographers as he arrives for the PaleyFest 2012 panel discussion about the show, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The new season of "Mad Men" begins on Sunday, March 25. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Looking at the costs of Don Draper's lush life, what strikes us most is just how impossibly good the dashing, inscrutable star of TVs "Mad Men" had it--at least in terms of his personal finances. The fictional ad man, played by Jon Hamm, lives a kingly (and often quite drunken) life on a salary of $45,000 a year plus a $2,500 bonus. In 2012 dollars, that translates into an annual salary of $356,510, as our friends at Credit Sesame point out.

Today, someone with Draper's equivalent job as a creative director at an advertising firm makes an average annual salary of $133,641, according to Credit Sesame's analysis. Though well above the median income in the U.S., that salary is not going to get you a Draper-style life, packed with first-class trips to Los Angeles, a mistress or two, a Cadillac and a stay-at-home spouse--wait that was two seasons ago. Last time we checked, the recently divorced Draper had just proposed to his kids' nanny. But we digress.

Check out the Credit Sesame's infographic, which translates Draper's life into 2012 terms.



Infographic: From the Desk of Don Draper: The Cost of 1962, Today

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article identified Don Draper as an "ad director at an advertising firm," rather than as creative director, the character's actual title.
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Filed by Emily Peck  |