Scientific interest in retrograde memory has grown considerably over the last two decades. Studies have demonstrated that several brain regions, including the temporal lobes, participate in the formation, maintenance and storage of past memories. Different patterns and extents of retrograde memory deficits have been recorded in patients with temporal lobe lesions. It has been argued that the pattern of retrograde memory deficits is determined not only by the side and specific location of lesion within this region, but also by methodology, medical variables (such as etiology or seizure history), and coexisting cognitive deficits. In this paper we will review published case and group studies of patients with temporal lobe lesions to evaluate the impact of these factors on retrograde memory.