The transcription factor c‐Myc is a key regulator of cell proliferation, cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Deregulated c‐myc expression possesses a high transformation potential and the proto‐oncogene c‐myc represents a promising target in anticancer therapy. This review on the c‐myc promoter describes its organization, the different levels of its normal regulation (including initiation and elongation of transcription, the dual P1/P2 promoters, chromatin structure, c‐Myc autosuppression) as well as its deregulation in Burkitt's lymphoma. Furthermore, it summarizes the many different transcription factors, signal transduction pathways, and feedback loops that activate or repress c‐myc transcription. Finally, a concept for regulation of the c‐myc promoter in different biological settings, for example, immediate‐early induction, constant expression throughout the cell cycle in continuously cycling cells, repression during terminal differentiation and deregulation in cancer, is formulated.