Streptococcus pyogenes bacteremia occurred in 104 patients over a 6-year period, during which time the annual incidence remained constant. The clinical and epidemiologic characteristics are described for 90 of these patients. Of the 90 patients, 90% had community-acquired infection, and 77% had an underlying illness predisposing them to infection. Skin infection was the cause of bacteremia in 615r% of the cases. Septic shock developed in 13 patients. The overall mortality rate was 15%. An increased likelihood of death was associated with septic shock and diabetes mellitus.