See also Don Draper.
Born approximately March 1926 in Illinois.
Dick Whitman was the child of Evangeline, a prostitute, who died at age 22, giving birth to Dick. He was raised by his father Archibald, and Archie’s wife, Abigail. Archie Whitman was a farmer, and a drunk. Their house did not have indoor plumbing. Dick witnessed his father’s death—he was kicked in the face by a horse. After his death, Abigail lost the farm.
Pregnant, widowed Abigail and young Dick moved into a brothel in Pennsylvania coal country run by Abigail’s sister Ernestine, and her companion, Mack Johnson. Dick’s half-brother Adam was born soon after. Abigail and “Uncle” Mack take up with each other, possibly after Ernestine’s death when Dick was 15.
by 1960, Abigail and Mack are both dead, Abigail of stomach cancer.
Dick played football in high school. He worked parking cars at a road house when he was 15.
Dick joined the army and served in Korea, where he switched dog tags with his commanding officer, Donald F. Draper, immediately after Draper died in an explosion.
Adam Whitman believed Dick to be dead until spring of 1960, when he spotted a story (with photo) about Don Draper in Advertising Age, and sought him out. Adam was working as a janitor at American Calculator in the Empire State Building, and lived in a single room occupancy (SRO), which he hoped was temporary. In October of 1960, Adam hung himself in the SRO.