Rosser Reeves (10 September 1910 – 24 January 1984) was an American advertising executive and pioneer of television advertising; Reeves generated millions for his clients. The Ted Bates agency, where he rose to chairman, exists today as Bates 141. The AMC program, Mad Men, uses Reeves as one model for the professional accomplishments of the series' protagonist, Donald Draper (played by Jon Hamm).
Reeves was born in Virginia to a Methodist preacher, and briefly attended the University of Virginia until he was expelled for drunkenly crashing a friend's car during the Prohibition era. Luckily, he had just won One Hundred dollars as a prize for a state-wide chemistry contest that served as his final exam for first year Chem 101. While other students wrote novel chemical formulae as their submission, Reeves, by virtue of not knowing anything about chemistry having spent the semester drinking, dancing and gambling, blithely submitted an essay titled "Better Living Through Chemistry". He would later use this title for DuPont Corporation campaign. The one hundred dollars was enough money to move to Richmond where he was hired at a new bank that was hiring young contest winners. Finding that he was a poor accountant but verbally gifted, he began writing advertisements. He soon moved to New York City to found Ted Bates & Co with Ted Bates...
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