Human γ-herpesviruses include the closely related tumor viruses Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). EBV is the most growth-transforming pathogen known and is linked to at least seven human malignancies. KSHV is also associated with three human cancers. Most EBV- and KSHV-infected individuals fortunately remain disease-free despite persistent infection and this is likely due to the robustness of the immune control that they mount against these tumor viruses. However, upon immune suppression EBV- and KSHV-associated malignancies emerge at increased frequencies. Moreover, primary immunodeficiencies with individual mutations that predispose to EBV or KSHV disease allow us to gain insights into a catalog of molecules that are required for the immune control of these tumor viruses. Curiously, there is little overlap between the mutation targets that predispose individuals to EBV versus KSHV disease, even so both viruses can infect the same host cell, human B cells. These differences will be discussed in this review. A better understanding of the crucial components in the near-perfect life-long immune control of EBV and KSHV should allow us to target malignancies that are associated with these viruses, but also induce similar immune responses against other tumors.