Depressive personality disorder (DPD) is a historically important construct that requires empirical attention. This study compares 26 subjects with this disorder to 20 non-DPD subjects who have similar histories of longstanding early-onset depression on three personality measures, the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ), NEO-Five Factor Inventory, and Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ). The samples were demographically similar and had similar rates of comorbid depression and dysthymia. They differed in that DPD subjects scored significantly higher on Harm Avoidance and Neuroticism, and significantly lower on Novelty Seeking, Extroversion, and Adaptive defense mechanisms. Implications for clinical care and nosology are discussed.