FOXM1 is a typical proliferation-associated transcription factor: it stimulates proliferation by promoting S-phase entry as well as M-phase entry and is involved in proper execution of mitosis. Accordingly, FOXM1 regulates genes that control G1/S-transition, S-phase progression, G2/M-transition and M-phase progression. Consistently, its expression and its activity are antagonistically regulated by many important proliferation and anti-proliferation signals. Furthermore, FOXM1 is implicated in tumorigenesis and contributes to both tumor initiation and progression. In addition to its function as a conventional transcription factor, FOXM1 transactivates the human c-myc P1 and P2 promoters directly via their TATA-boxes by a new transactivation mechanism, which it also employs for transactivation of the human c-fos, hsp70 and histone H2B/a promoters. This review summarizes the current knowledge on FOXM1, in particular its two different transactivation mechanisms, the regulation of its transcriptional activity by proliferation versus anti-proliferation signals and its function in normal cell cycle progression and tumorigenesis.