Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Sterling’s Gold

Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man

by Roger Sterling, Jr.

The memoir written by fictional character Roger Sterling is chockfull of witty anecdotes and memorable quotes from the hit show, Mad Men.

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9585-2
  • US List Price $16.95

About The Book

Advertising pioneer and visionary Roger Sterling, Jr., served with distinction in the Navy during World War II, and joined Sterling Cooper Advertising as a junior account executive in 1947. He worked his way up to managing partner before leaving to found his own agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, in 1963.

During his long and illustrious career, Sterling has come into contact with all the luminaries and would-be luminaries of the advertising world, and he has acquired quite a reputation among his colleagues for his quips, barbs, and witticisms. A few “Sterling” examples:

❡You want to be on some people’s minds. Some people’s you don’t.

❡The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.

❡Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you in the face.

❡Don’t you love the chase? Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Those are the stakes. But when it does work out—it’s like having that first cigarette. Your head gets all dizzy, your heart pounds, your knees go weak. Remember that? Old business is just old business.

❡When a man gets to a point in his life when his name’s on the building, he can get an unnatural sense of entitlement.

❡Remember, when God closes a door, he opens a dress.

Taken as a whole, Roger Sterling’s pithy comments and observations amount to a unique window on the advertising world—a world that few among us are privileged to witness first-hand—as well as a commentary on life in New York City in the middle of the twentieth century.


“On Mad Men, Roger Sterling’s official occupation is wining and dining clients, and maintaining Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s confident public image. Yet his true talents lie in spouting pithy aphorisms, which Sterling commits to history with his fictional memoir Sterling’s Gold: The Wit And Wisdom Of An Ad Man.” —The Onion A.V. Club

“A glorious diamond . . . A fusion of some of our biggest interests—Mad Men and books.” —PopEater

“Roger Sterling’s divine folly-autobiography Sterling’s Gold is now a real book . . . A handy gift book, to be sure, and a hell of a toilet read.” —Boris Kachka, New York Magazine online

“Nobody does bons mots like Roger does ’em.” —Sarah Ball, VanityFair.com

Mad Men fans craving a fix until the fifth season starts can now look forward to more than late-night DVD reruns. Roger Sterling may be one of the show’s most charismatic and lovable characters. His memoir, once a book that existed only in the show’s fictional universe, is now real enough to find in your Christmas stocking.” —NPR.org

“The memoir written by fictional character Roger Sterling, portrayed by John Slattery, is chockfull of witty anecdotes and memorable quotes from one of the most entertaining and charismatic characters on the AMC show.” —Anastasia Schembri, Examiner.com

“A well-written character can come to life outside the walls of his or her prescribed narrative. This was most recently the case with Mad Men‘s Roger Sterling, whose fourth-season memoir Sterling’s Gold recently hit shelves as Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man, a time-traveling stocking-stuffer straight from the fictional mouth of the sharpest mind on mid-century Madison Avenue . . . a collection of Sterling’s barbed witticisms, which are sure to sate Mad Men fans jonesing for sustenance between seasons.” —Stephanie Hlywak, Flavorwire.com

“Now you too can be enlightened thanks to silver fox Roger Sterling’s new book, Sterling’s Gold. . . . These quotes might not catch you up on the Joan/Roger drama, but drop them into casual conversation, and you’ll look like you’ve been watching Mad Men since before Miss Blankenship went belly up at her desk.” —Kirkus Reviews

Sterling’s Gold remains a cut above . . . with a little bit of class and a lot of savoir-faire.” —Sarah Hughes, The Independent

“[Sterling’s] got the best lines, and always delivered at just the right time . . . Imagine getting those lines back-to-back? It would make you feel as if Sterling was in the room, smoking away and making you giggle, take pause, and shake your head . . . [Sterling’s Gold] gives you Sterling’s essence”You will enjoy every single minute.” —Working Writers Blog

Mad Men may not be back for a few (agonizing) months, but the silver tongue of the faltering ad agency’s first namesake lives on.” —Jumping Anaconda Blog

“Looks like Mad Men fans won’t have to wait until season five to get their fill of the witty Roger Sterling.” —CNN, The Marquee Blog

“Will Sterling’s book be as juicy as Grove’s other 1960s classics? Judging by the chapter titles—’Women,’ ‘Drinking,’ etc.—the answer is: maybe! We hope this becomes part of a series for Grove.” —Melissa Maerz, Los Angeles Times, “Show Tracker” Blog

“What could be a better present, for yourself or someone you love, than Mad Men‘s Roger Sterling?” —Willa Paskin, New York Magazine Vulture Blog

“As you might have recalled this season, Sterling had been in the process of writing his autobiography. . . . And now—strangely, wonderfully—it’s real. . . . Definitely would make for a great gift for any Mad Men fan, or just to hold you over until next season.” —The Beat of Young Los Angeles Blog

Sterling’s Gold is without a doubt the most brilliant piece of cross-platform entertainment we’ve seen this year . . . [and] adds a rich and engaging layer to some of our favorite ‘traditional’ entertainment. Well played, AMC, well played.” —Brain Pickings Blog

“It will no doubt be entertaining, as it is filled with the bons mots Roger is so famous for . . . Truly stuff to live by!” —Amoeblog

“I feel as though I should be more cynical about the fact that Sterling’s Gold, the memoir written by Roger Sterling in the TV show Mad Men, is now going to be a real book, published by Grove/Atlantic, but I’m just not cynical at all. Sterling gets all the best one-liners, and who wouldn’t want a few more?” —Keir Graff, Booklist Online, “Likely Stories” Blog

“Looking for some Sterling-quality observations? Mad Men character has book coming out.” —Baltimore Sun Online

“Fans of AMC’s Mad Men won’t have to wait until the show returns next season to get their ’60s-nostalgia fix.” —PopEater

“[A] stroke of genius.” —Bukowski’s Basement Blog

“Words of wisdom from Roger Sterling? We’re in.” —Uncrate.com

“It’s gonna be good.” —Melissa Bell, The Washington Post Blog

“Anyone as curious about this as I am?” —Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly “Shelf Life” Blog

“Hey, if it’s written by the same people who market Mad Men, it will be filled with brilliance.” —ChasNote

“How awesome is the AMC television series Mad Men? The fictional drama is beginning to jump off the small screen into reality.” —Peter Sciretta, Slash Film


June 29th, 1965

Gentle Reader,

After devoting most of my life to the nefarious trade known as advertising, I thought it was time to share some of the pearls that I’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate. Now keep in mind that oysters don’t open easy and every one of those gaudy baubles started off as a grain of sand.

As you may find out, I’m not a writer. On some level, that’s a point of pride because it steered me away from the cliché of autobiography. I had no desire to waste your and my time trying to turn a list of events into a campaign of triumph. So here it is . . . a few things overheard, a few things to live by, and hell, a few things I’ve apparently said and had repeated to me the morning after a party when I called to make amends. As I said, advertising’s been half my life and I’m probably off by 50 percent.

But dammit, if it hasn’t felt like fifteen minutes.

You’ll see the dedication reads differently, but I’d like to thank and apologize in advance to the following entities: 1. Shakespeare. 2. Lincoln. The President and the Continental. 3. That nameless genius that first put a pickled onion in a glass of vodka. 4. People who can really write. I’m sorry my book got published first. 5. J. Press., Brooks Brothers, and Renaldo, my tailor with the golden needle. 6. Hotel rooms where the bed is always the center of attention. 7. Arpege, Shalimar, Joy, Chanel No. 5. It’s all your fault. 8. Redheads. 9. Wives. 10. New York City, the cradle of civilization.

I should also probably thank my agent, Ira, for almost believing in me, and the folks at Grove Press who urge you to buy ten. They make great coasters.

Roger Sterling, Jr.