Expression of the suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS1) is inactivated in hematopoietic and solid cancers by promoter methylation, miRNA-mediated silencing, and mutations. Paradoxically, SOCS1 is also overexpressed in many human cancers. We report here that the ability of SOCS1 to interact with p53 and regulate cellular senescence depends on a structural motif that includes tyrosine (Y)80 in the SH2 domain of SOCS1. Mutations in this motif are found at low frequency in some human cancers, and substitution of Y80 by a phosphomimetic residue inhibits p53-SOCS1 interaction and its functional consequences, including stimulation of p53 transcriptional activity, growth arrest, and cellular senescence. Mass spectrometry confirmed SOCS1 Y80 phosphorylation in cells, and a new mAb was generated to detect its presence in tissues by IHC. A tyrosine kinase library screen identified the SRC family as Y80-SOCS1 kinases. SRC family kinase inhibitors potentiated the SOCS1-p53 pathway and reinforced SOCS1-induced senescence. Samples from human lymphomas that often overexpress SOCS1 also displayed SRC family kinase activation, constitutive phosphorylation of SOCS1 on Y80, and SOCS1 cytoplasmic localization. Collectively, these results reveal a mechanism that inactivates the SOCS1-p53 senescence pathway and suggest that inhibition of SRC family kinases as personalized treatment in patients with lymphomas may be successful. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings show that SOCS1 phosphorylation by the SRC family inhibits its tumor-suppressive activity, indicating that patients with increased SOCS1 phosphorylation may benefit from SRC family kinase inhibitors.