Comparative analysis of primate genomes within a phylogenetic context is essential for understanding the evolution of human genetic architecture and primate diversity. We present such a study of 50 primate species spanning 38 genera and 14 families, including 27 genomes first reported here, with many from previously less well represented groups, the New World monkeys and the Strepsirrhini. Our analyses reveal heterogeneous rates of genomic rearrangement and gene evolution across primate lineages. Thousands of genes under positive selection in different lineages play roles in the nervous, skeletal, and digestive systems and may have contributed to primate innovations and adaptations. Our study reveals that many key genomic innovations occurred in the Simiiformes ancestral node and may have had an impact on the adaptive radiation of the Simiiformes and human evolution.