We performed a genomewide association study (GWAS) of primary erythrocyte thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) activity in children with leukemia (n = 1,026). Adjusting for age and ancestry, TPMT was the only gene that reached genomewide significance (top hit rs1142345 or 719A>G; P = 8.6 × 10-61). Additional genetic variants (in addition to the three single-nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs], rs1800462, rs1800460, and rs1142345, defining TPMT clinical genotype) did not significantly improve classification accuracy for TPMT phenotype. Clinical mercaptopurine tolerability in 839 patients was related to TPMT clinical genotype (P = 2.4 × 10-11). Using 177 lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs), there were 251 SNPs ranked higher than the top TPMT SNP (rs1142345; P = 6.8 × 10-5), revealing a limitation of LCLs for pharmacogenomic discovery. In a GWAS, TPMT activity in patients behaves as a monogenic trait, further bolstering the utility of TPMT genetic testing in the clinic.