|Portrayed by||Michael Gladis|
|First appearance||Smoke Gets in Your Eyes|
|Final appearance||Christmas Waltz|
|Employer||Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency|
|Romantic Partners||Joan Holloway (ex-lover)|
Sheila White (ex-girlfriend)
Paul Kinsey was a copywriter at Sterling Cooper advertising agency. ("Smoke Gets in Your Eyes")
He was initially featured as part of Pete's "entourage" in the office, often spending more time drinking, flirting, and gossiping as opposed to actually working. Paul was romantically involved with Joan in the past and also dated a black woman named Sheila White who dumped him while they were registering black voters in Mississippi.
He lived in a working class neighborhood in New Jersey and espoused more Bohemian ideas than his fellow young copywriters. He sought out to seem interesting and different, by doing things such as living in an unusual neighborhood, making some dramatic clothing choices, dating a black woman at a time when that would have raised eyebrows, growing a beard, and smoking a pipe. He was originally from New Jersey and attended Princeton on a scholarship, two facts he was eager to hide. Paul was insecure and wanted to project a facade that was quite different than what he was. A fan of science fiction and "The Twilight Zone", he had a notably Camelot-era fascination with space. In season 2 he grew an Orson Welles beard.
When Paul first met Peggy Olson, he took a liking to her and encouraged her to pursue copywriting, stating that "There are women copywriters." Peggy rejected Paul's advances, and Paul soon became jealous and more competitive with her when it was clear that she had more skill as a copywriter than as a secretary, perhaps even more skill than he.
As Peggy continued to grow as a copywriter, she began to overshadow Paul's work and ideas. Although Paul survived the wave of firings following the merger of Sterling Cooper and Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe, his influence in the creative department began to wane and he was rarely invited to important meetings with clients.
At the end of Season 3, Don Draper did not consider hiring him to join the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency. On the Monday morning following the secret exodus, Paul discovered Peggy's office had been abandoned and realized that Don had chosen her instead of him.
Paul did not appear again until late in Season 5, where he met Harry at a coffee shop. Paul had dropped out of the advertising business after jumping around to a series of progressively more obscure agencies, and fallen on hard times. He reluctantly became a Hare Krishna, but he continued to write on the side and presented Harry with a script for a "Star Trek" episode in hopes he would show it to studio executives. Unbeknownst to Paul, Harry ended up sleeping with Paul's Hare Krishna girlfriend, who did it in order to poison Harry and Paul's relationship so that Harry would not help Paul to leave the Hare Krishnas. Harry read Paul's script and it was terrible. He decided not to show it to any Hollywood executives. Instead, eager to prevent Paul from learning about Harry sleeping with Paul's girlfriend, Harry lied and told him that the script was very promising, gave him 500 dollars and a bus ticket to California, and encouraged him to start a new life in California as long as he promised to go straight to the bus station and not return even for a moment to the Hare Krishna temple. Paul gave him a hug, saying that Harry was the only person who ever did anything for him. ("Christmas Waltz")
- The "Star Trek" script that Paul wrote has some similarities to the actual third season episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", leading to many fans jokingly speculating that Paul tried to sell the script to NBC against Harry's advice, and against all odds actually succeeded.