Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is characterized by youth-onset diabetes that is inherited in an autosomal dominant (monogenic) pattern. Classic MODY accounts for less than 5% of cases of childhood diabetes in Caucasians, presents prior to age 25 years, is nonketotic, and may not require insulin treatment. A variant form of MODY that lacks a clearly defined genetic basis occurs in African Americans [atypical diabetes mellitus (ADM)] clinically presents more acutely and is initially insulin requiring. To date, five molecular causes of classic MODY have been identified: hepatocyte nuclear factor-4 alpha (HNF-4 alpha; MODY1), glucokinase (MODY2), hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 alpha (HNF-1 alpha; MODY3), insulin promoter factor-1 (IPF-1, MODY4), and hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 beta (HNF-1 beta; MODY5). MODY is studied as a model of beta cell hypofunction and modest insulinopenia. Clinical recognition of ADM is important for patient management to avoid confusion with type 1 diabetes mellitus.