In 1960, the coffee consumption habits and other lifestyle characteristics of 23,912 white Seventh-day Adventists were assessed by questionnaire. Between 1960 and 1980, deaths due to cancer were identified. There were positive associations between coffee consumption and fatal colon and bladder cancer. The group consuming two or more cups of coffee per day had an estimated relative risk (RR) of 1.7 for fatal colon cancer and 2.0 for fatal bladder cancer, compared to the group that consumed less than one cup per day (RR = 1.0). These positive associations were apparently not confounded by age, sex, cigarette smoking, or meat consumption habits. In this study, there were no significant or suggestive associations between coffee consumption and fatal pancreatic, breast, and ovarian cancer, or a combined group of all other cancer sites.