Roger Sterling, Jr.

Roger Sterling, Jr.

    Mad Men
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… seemingly never. Roger was raised, mostly by nannies, into a wealthy family in 1920s New York. He didn’t see his parents much, especially his vain father who spent most of his time working at the advertising agency he co-founded and getting his nails done.

Living… in Manhattan with his wife, Mona, and daughter, Margaret, both of whom he benignly neglects in favor of epicurean pursuits. 

Profession… advertising. Roger was born into it, taking over his father’s position as Senior Partner and Head of Accounts Services at Sterling Cooper. For Roger, work is a means toward play. As he puts it, “What do we work so hard for? To have enough money to buy fabulous vacations for our families, so we can live it up here.” Roger’s Navy service during WWII, which he is proud to mention, was likely the first and last “real” work he’s ever done.

Interests… drinking, dining, one-liners, and womanizing. If you’re in the mood for partying in style, Roger’s the man for the job. He’d start with classy cocktails and probably end up swigging from a whiskey bottle on the sidewalk. Nevertheless, his shirt would always stay tucked, and the jokes would keep coming at a mile a minute.

Relationship Status… married and happily unfaithful. Roger is a playboy and often goes for girls half his age. As he says, “It’s like they hit 30 and somebody puts out a light.” The exception to this rule is Head Secretary Joan Holloway, but who can blame him. Have you seen Joan?

Challenge… health issues. His lifestyle is starting to catch up to him. After he had an ulcer his doctors urged him to drink cream and eat butter. Next thing you know, he had his first coronary. But he’s not dead yet; it took four coronaries to kill his father.

Personality… witty and hedonistic, rarely seen without a drink. Roger is forever trying to recapture his youth, though he’d probably just squander it all over again if he got the chance. But oh what laughs he’d have and skirts he’d chase in the process. After all, if he didn’t cram his days like that, he might have downtime to think about life and his decisions and what it’s all about. And really, who needs that?


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