John Meston (30-07-1914, Pueblo, Colorado, USA)

John Meston was one of radio and television's most important storytellers, and yet oddly enough his contributions are often overlooked today. He is the writer credited with creating "Gunsmoke," along with producer Norman MacDonnell, essentially starting the adult western on radio and television and setting the tone and style which would make both the radio and television versions of the series so memorable. Meston began in the program practices department at CBS in the 1940s before becoming a writer and editor. Overall, he wrote 183 of the "Gunsmoke" radio episodes (413 were produced in all between 1952 and 1961), and 196 of the 635 episodes produced for television between 1955 and 1975. While he never won any major award for his work, Meston was a master writer, serving up memorable characters in authentic western settings.