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Bertram Cooper
S6 Bertram (02).jpg
Portrayed by Robert Morse
First appearance Ladies Room
Final appearance Waterloo
Details
Gender Male
Occupation Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency Senior Partner (Former)
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Senior Partner
Relations


Bertram "Bert" Cooper was a founding partner of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency.

Biography

Never without a bow tie, Bertram Cooper (d. July 20, 1969) was one of the founders of Sterling Cooper in 1923 along with Roger Sterling, Sr. He later became a founding partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce before his death on July 20th, 1969. Bert Cooper was an avid collector of Japanese art and architecture as reflected in the decor of his office. Cooper rarely wore shoes indoors and insisted that all visitors to his office remove their shoes. ("Ladies Room")

Sterling Cooper

Cooper's eccentric nature sometimes masked his crafty, cunning side. When Pete Campbell attempted to blackmail Don Draper about his past, Cooper cleverly eliminated the problem by claiming that he did not care. ("The Wheel")

Merger

A founding partner of the original Sterling Cooper, Bertram expressed his distaste at the idea of selling it to British agency Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe, but eventually agreed to the merger. After PPL was sold to the McCann Erickson agency, Cooper realized that he would most likely be forced into retirement, and so became a partner in the new agency. ("Meditations in an Emergency")

When Conrad Hilton's lawyers insisted that Don sign a contract before they would do any business with him, Cooper had no qualms about using Don's past to coerce him into signing. "Would you say I know something about you, Don?" he asked. "I would," Don agreed. "Then sign," Cooper said. ("Seven Twenty Three")

A New Company

When rumors of the purchase of PPL, the parent company of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, reached Don Draper, he pushed Burt Cooper and Roger Sterling, the original senior partners, to attempt a purchase of the company. After presenting an offer, they realized it was a lost cause, until they hit upon an idea. Pryce, the representative from PPL with authority over everyone at Sterling Cooper, agreed to fire the senior partners, thereby severing their contracts (including the no-compete clauses in their contracts).

They secretly rounded up a list of clients loyal to them and stole important documentation that would smooth the transition. They then secretly selected Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway, and Harry Crane as the first employees. ("Shut the Door. Have a Seat")

One Year Later

Bert's contribution to the firm seemed to have diminished. He frequently pointed out to the other partners that he did not have an office. He was sometimes seen in the lobby.

When they got word that Honda was looking for a new advertising agency, Bert was actively involved due to his knowledge of Japanese culture. Roger was opposed to working with the Japanese, and in the middle of the meeting with the Honda executives, Roger burst into the office and started a rant, stating that they "don't want any of your Jap crap." After he left the room, Bert and the other members of SCDP apologized for Roger's rude behavior, but he soon realized that their chances had likely been blown when Honda did not send them a gift in the following days. ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword")

When it was revealed that Lucky Strike was no longer going to remain in business with SCDP, Bert told Roger why he failed: Roger never took himself seriously, and so neither did Lee Garner, Jr., head of Lucky Strike. He was active in trying to bring in accounts and hold on to current accounts when the crisis hit the rest of the firm's business. ("Chinese Wall")

Bert was frustrated with Don's full page ad "Why I'm Quitting Tobacco," mentioning the hypocrisy of including Don's name and not the rest of the partners. Don declared that he was able to get a good night's sleep, to which Bert declared that he was resigning from the agency. He last says of Don, "We've created a monster." On his way out he tells Peggy and Stan that "It's been a pleasure," to slightly confused faces. However, by mid-1966 he had returned to the agency, with no explanation given. ("Blowing Smoke")

Death

On the evening of Sunday, July 20, 1969, Bert Cooper, like millions around the world, was watching the televised coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Cooper was at his private residence watching. At the moment following Astronaut Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, Cooper smiled and uttered one word, "Bravo!" Later that night, Roger Sterling received a call that Bert Cooper had passed away.

After announcing the news of Cooper's death to the company, Don Draper had a vision of Bert Cooper cheerfully singing "The Best Things in Life Are Free." ("Waterloo")

Trivia

  • While listening to Roger Sterling's tapes for his book, it was revealed to Don and Peggy that Cooper had his testicles removed in an orchiectomy by Dr. Lyle Evans due to a diagnosis of cancer, which turned out to be incorrect. Cooper's testicle removal underlines his growing impotency or his seemingly diminishing contributions to the firm. ("The Suitcase")
  • He was fond of modern art and had an original Mark Rothko painting in his office, which would be worth millions of dollars in the future.
  • He had a famous Japanese print on his office wall, "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" by Katsushika Hokusai, created in 1814, which features a woman ama diver having sex with 2 octopuses. After he died, Roger Sterling took possession of the print, and he later gave it to Peggy Olsen, who hung it up in her office at McCann Erickson.

Clothing/Fashion Style

Bertram Cooper is the sage of Sterling Cooper. He is fond of argyle and bow ties. His fashion speaks of man who is delicate, eccentric, and prefers to be comfortable without being sloppy. Bert Cooper is fascinated by Japanese culture, which shows up in his office decor, but he only adds the cultural influence to his attire when wearing a kimono at home. He is almost never seen with shoes, but that is likely due to his respect for the Japanese custom of removing one's shoes in the home (though shoe removal is seldom the practice in the workplace).

Gallery

Mad Men Characters
Draper's Past Don DraperAbigail WhitmanArchie WhitmanAdam WhitmanMack JohnsonLieutenant Don DraperAnna DraperPattyStephanie Horton
Draper and Hofstadt Family Betty HofstadtSally DraperBobby DraperGene DraperGloria MasseyEugene Hofstadt
New York Suburb CarlaGlen BishopHelen BishopFrancine HansonArnold WayneSuzanne FarrellEdna Keener
Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency Roger SterlingBertram CooperJoan HollowayHarry CraneFreddy RumsenSalvatore RomanoKen CosgrovePaul KinseyHerman PhillipsBurt PetersonGreta GuttmanHollisJimmy BarrettWarren McKennaDaleBobbie BarrettRoger Sterling, Sr.
Secretary Peggy OlsonJane SiegelAllisonHildyLois SadlerMarge
Client Rachel MenkenLee Garner, Jr.Elliot LawrenceConrad HiltonAnnabelle MathisCrab Colson
Campbell Family Pete CampbellTrudy VogelBud CampbellTom VogelJeannie VogelJudy CampbellAndrew Campbell
Olson Relation Anita Olson RespolaKatherine OlsonJohn GillGerry RespolaMark KearneyJoyce RamsayAbe Drexler
London Lane PryceAlec MartinSaint John PowellGuy MacKendrickHarold FordJohn HookerRebecca PryceRobert Pryce
Francis Family Henry FrancisEleanor FrancisPauline Francis
New York City Beth DawesHoward DawesMidge DanielsJennifer CraneJim HobartMargaret SterlingMona SterlingKitty RomanoWalter EmersonBethany Van NuysCynthia CosgroveGail HollowayGreg HarrisRuth HarrisKevin HarrisMorris Ginsberg
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Faye MillerStan RizzoMichael GinsbergJoey BairdDanny SiegelMargie KochBill Mitford
Secretary Ida BlankenshipDawn ChambersScarlettCarolineSandy Schmidt
Client Herb RennetBob FinleyThomas FillmoreAkira TakahashiHachi Saito
Calvet Family Megan CalvetEmile CalvetMarie Calvet
New York Sylvia RosenJuliaPhoebe
Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough Jim CutlerFrank GleasonTed ChaoughSmitty SmithKurt SmithNan Chaough
Affair CandaceJanineToni CharlesJoy
Character Lyle EvansDavey KelloggJim HobartPerry DemuthJack HammondRalph Stuben
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