|Portrayed by||Robert Morse|
|First appearance||Smoke Gets in Your Eyes|
|Occupation|| Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency Senior Partner|
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Senior Partner
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., and is a founding partner in the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce advertising agency. Bert Cooper is an avid collector of Japanese art and architecture as reflected in the decor of his office. Cooper rarely wears shoes indoors.
Cooper's eccentric nature sometimes masks his crafty, cunning side. When Pete Campbell attempts to blackmail Don Draper about his past, Cooper cleverly eliminates the problem by claiming that he doesn’t care.
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 is sold to the McCann Erickson agency, Cooper realizes that he will most likely be forced into retirement, and becomes a partner in the new agency.
When Conrad Hilton's lawyers persist in Don signing his contract before they do any business, Cooper has no qualms about using Don's past to coerce him into signing. "Would you say I know something about you, Don?" he asks. "I would," Don agrees. "Then sign," Cooper says.
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 Harris, and Harry Crane as the first employees.
One Year Later
Bert's contribution to the firm seemed to have diminished. He consistently likes to point out to the other partners that he does not even have an office. He is 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 against the very thought of 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.
When it is revealed that Lucky Strike is no longer going to remain in business with SCDP, Bert told Roger that he failed because since Roger never took himself seriously, neither did Lee. 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.
Bert was frustrated with Don's full page ad of "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 sleep, to which Bert declared 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.
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 has a vision of Bert Cooper cheerfully singing "The Best Things in Life Are Free."
- 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. In modernist literature there are often references to the Fisher King. Cooper's testicles removal is further defining his growing impotency or his seemingly diminishing contribution to the firm.
Bertram Cooper is the sage of Sterling Cooper. He is fond of argyle and bow ties. Bertram is wealthy, but 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, but he only adds the cultural influence to his attire when wearing a kimono at home. Bert is almost never seen with shoes, but that is likely due to his respect for Japanese customs, who often remove their shoes at home as Japan is known for dust and volcanic dirt, but also a sign of respect for hearth and home.