The cytoplasmic membrane protein TonB spans the periplasm of the Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope, contacts cognate outer membrane receptors, and facilitates siderophore transport. The outer membrane receptor FhuA from Escherichia coli mediates TonB-dependent import of ferrichrome. We report the 3.3 angstrom resolution crystal structure of the TonB carboxyl-terminal domain in complex with FhuA. TonB contacts stabilize FhuA's amino-terminal residues, including those of the consensus Ton box sequence that form an interprotein β sheet with TonB through strand exchange. The highly conserved TonB residue arginine-166 is oriented to form multiple contacts with the FhuA cork, the globular domain enclosed by the β barrel.