Preterm birth (PTB) is a major public health concern in the US. Lack of established paternity has been linked with increased risk of PTB. Community violence (CV) may modify the association, and racial/ethnic differences may exist. Using a geographically defined cohort of women in Richmond, Virginia ( N = 27,518), we examined racial/ethnic differences in the modifying effect of CV on the association between paternity status and PTB. Results showed that lack of established paternity was associated with incremental greater odds of PTB across CV quartiles in NH-Whites (quartile-1: AOR = 1.42, 95% CI = 0.95–2.12; quartile-2: AOR = 1.45, 95% CI = 0.57–3.71; quartile-3: AOR = 3.12, 95% CI = 2.67–6.32), NH-Blacks (quartile-1: AOR = 1.16, 95% CI = 0.85–1.58; quartile-2: AOR = 1.32, 95% CI = 0.82–2.12; quartile-3: AOR = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.24–2.16), and Hispanics (quartile-1: AOR = 1.29, 95% CI = 0.65–2.55; quartile-2: AOR = 1.34, 95% CI = 0.67–2.69). Odds of PTB were highest among NH-White women. Public health practitioners should be aware of the negative effect of lack of paternal presence on PTB in women resident in high violence rate communities and racial/ethnic differences that exist.