This investigation studies racial and socioeconomic differences in mortality from colorectal cancer, and how they vary by stage and age at diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the hazard ratio of dying from colorectal cancer, controlling for tumor characteristics and sociodemographic factors. Black adults had a greater risk of death from colorectal cancer, especially in early stages. The gender gap in mortality is wider among blacks than whites. Differences in tumor characteristics and socioeconomic factors each accounted for approximately one third of the excess risk of death among blacks. Effects of socioeconomic factors and race varied significantly by age. Higher stage-specific mortality rates and more advanced stage at diagnosis both contribute to the higher case-fatality rates from colorectal cancer among black adults, only some of which is due to socioeconomic differences. Socioeconomic and racial factors have their most significant effects in different age groups.