Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma of skin-homing T lymphocytes. We performed exome and whole-genome DNA sequencing and RNA sequencing on purified CTCL and matched normal cells. The results implicate mutations in 17 genes in CTCL pathogenesis, including genes involved in T cell activation and apoptosis, NF-κB signaling, chromatin remodeling and DNA damage response. CTCL is distinctive in that somatic copy number variants (SCNVs) comprise 92% of all driver mutations (mean of 11.8 pathogenic SCNVs versus 1.0 somatic single-nucleotide variant per CTCL). These findings have implications for new therapeutics.