Brow Beat

How George Lois, ’60s Ad Man and Art Director, May Be the Real-Life Don Draper

Forget D.B. Cooper—for a real-life equivalent of Mad Men’s Don Draper, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more fitting than legendary art director George Lois. In the ’60s, Lois oversaw dozens of landmark ad campaigns and magazine covers, and the above Vice profile does a stellar job of explicating his legacy.

Even better, it expertly teases out Lois’s similarities to Draper, whose story will come to a close when Mad Men airs its final episodes in April. The parallels are endless: both were intensely talented and revered figures in their industry, and both dealt with a passel of personal flaws that frayed their personal relationships. It’s a bit of a stretch to say that Draper was based on Lois, but showrunner Matthew Weiner did call the latter to consult him on the feel and spirit of advertising in the ’60s.