Kiernan was born in Chicago, Illinois.
As part of Mad Men's ensemble cast, she won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2008 and 2009.
Shipka's individual performance on Mad Men has been well received. In naming her as his dream nominee for the "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series" Emmy Award, Austin American-Statesman critic Dale Roe remarked, "This 10-year-old actress was so affecting as troubled Sally Draper last season that it seems odd that she's only just been upgraded to series regular. If Shipka's upcoming Mad Men work - struggling with the broken marriage of her parents and entering preteendom in the tumultuous 1960s - remains as amazing as it was in Season 3, this is a ballot wish that could come true next year."
- Kiernan Shipka at the Internet Movie Database