Beginning in the 1950s Marlboroads featured cowboys riding through the wide-open terrain of the Wild West. The cowboy was instantly recognizable in denim, leather chaps, boots, spurs, and Stetson hat. Almost exclusively white, he is portrayed as handsome, weathered, and fit. Both a role model and sex symbol, the cowboy appeals to men and women alike.
The original advertising involving the Marlboro Man featured paid models pretending to carry out cowboy tasks. However, Leo Burnett felt that the commercials lacked authenticity. In 1968, he hired Wyoming rancher Darrell Winfield of Riverton, Wyoming who became known as the original "Marlboro Man." Winfield, born in 1929, died at 85 years old in Wyoming in 2015.