Matt Dillon is a fictional character featured on both the radio and television versions of Gunsmoke. He serves as the U.S. Marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, who works to preserve law and order in the western frontier of the 1870s. The character was created by writer John Meston, who envisioned him as a man "...whose hair is probably red, if he's got any left. He'd be handsomer than he is if he had better manners but life and his enemies have left him looking a little beat up, and I suppose having seen his mother (back about 1840) trying to take a bath in a wooden washtub without fully undressing left his soul a little warped. Anyway, there'd have to be something wrong with him or he wouldn't have hired on as a United States Marshal in the heyday of Dodge City, Kansas." Notwithstanding Meston's original vision, the character evolved considerably during Gunsmokes nine-year run on CBS Radio and its 20-year run on CBS Television (Columbia Broadcasting System).