Retinoblastoma (Rb) provided the first model in which both normal alleles of a recessive gene had to be lost as a prerequisite for tumorigenicity. However, region q14 of chromosome 13 appears cytogenetically normal in the majority of Rb tumors, and no homozygotic deletion had previously been observed. High-resolution cytogenetics of an Rb tumor revealed a homozygotic deletion in bands q13.3-14.2 of chromosomes 13 in 35% of the cells and a heterozygotic deletion, involving the same region, in 17%. In one third of the cells, although random chromosome loss occasionally occurred, no specific anomaly was detected. The remaining cells showed either monosomy 13, tetraploidy, or an i(1p). Revealing a homozygotic deletion in subbands 14.1 and 14.2 of chromosomes 13 provides the first cytogenetic evidence of the two somatic mutations considered essential to inactivate the Rb gene. These results allow insight into the succession of events necessary for tumor development.