Family history data from an incident case-control study of lung cancer conducted in the Texas Gulf Coast region between 1976 and 1980 were analyzed to evaluate the contribution of cancer in first-degree relatives to lung cancer risk. Odds ratios (OR) increased slightly as the number of relatives with any cancer increased (reaching 1.5 with 4 or more relatives with cancer). Risks were higher for tobacco-related cancers (OR = 1.5 for 2 or more relatives with these tumors) and greatest for first-degree relatives with lung cancer (OR = 2.8 for lung cancer in 2 or more relatives). For cases of squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the lung, risks with 3 or more relatives with any cancer were increased 2-fold (OR = 1.8 and 1.9 respectively), and a significantly elevated risk was found for having a first-degree relative with lung cancer for each histologic type (ORs from 1.7-2.1). Having a spouse with lung cancer increased lung cancer risk (OR = 2.5), and cases with lung cancer reported in a first-degree relative were diagnosed at an earlier age, as were case siblings with lung cancer.