The medical records of 486 patients with pathologically proved squamous carcinoma of the skin of the external ear were analyzed. It is a disease of elderly white men, and the helix is the most common site of origin. Well-differentiated squamous carcinoma is the most frequent histologic variant. Ninety-five percent of our patients were treated surgically with above-clavical control in 87 percent and 28 percent survival. The low survival rate was related to the old age of the patients who frequently died of intercurrent disease and second cancers. A12 percent incidence of nodal metastases is comparable with the incidence reported in other series. Aggressive surgical ablation and the selected use of adjunctive postoperative irradiation appear justified in those patients with locally invasive tumors, multiple nodal metastases, and extracapsular invasion.