The natural killer cell receptor KIR3DS1 is associated with improved outcome in malignancies, infections, and autoimmune diseases, but data for the impact of KIR3DS1 in HSCT are inconsistent. Using genomic DNA from the National Marrow Donor Program, we performed donor KIR genotyping for 1087 patients who received an unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. A total of 33% of donors were KIR3DS1(+). Compared with KIR3DS1(-) donors, donor KIR3DS1 was associated with lower-grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; odds ratio = 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.92; P = .009), but not with relapse (hazard ratio = 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-1.29; P = .82). Furthermore, grade II-IV acute GVHD, overall mortality, and transplantation-related mortality all decreased as the number of copies of donor KIR3DS1 increased (P = .007, P = .03, and P = .02, respectively), with the lowest failure rate occurring among patients homozygous for donor KIR3DS1. Selection of donors with KIR3DS1 may decrease acute GVHD without compromising relapse-free survival, separating the graft-versus-tumor effect from unwanted GVHD.