We investigated racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in cancer survival and assessed if racial disparities can be explained by socioeconomic status (SES) using New Jersey State Cancer Registry data. We included cancer cases diagnosed during 1986-1999 (n=471,939). Hazard ratios were calculated for all cancers combined and female breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers by race/ethnicity and SES for cases diagnosed in 1993-1999. Survival rates were compared for diagnosis years 1986-1992 and 1993-1999. We observed worse survival in Black patients and a SES gradient in the risk of cancer death after adjusting for age and stage at diagnosis. Following adjustment by SES, the higher risks of cancer death for Blacks were attenuated for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer and became non-significant for lung cancer. Racial/ethnic disparities in cancer survival can be partially explained by SES. Cancer survival rates improved significantly from 1986-1992 to 1993-1999 except for women in the poorest areas.