In this study, based on the three-dimensional theory of elasticity, static and free vibration characteristics of continuously graded fiber-reinforced (CGFR) cylindrical shells are considered by making use of a generalized power-law distribution. In the present formulation, the cylindrical shell is assumed to be made of an orthotropic material. The CGFR cylindrical shells have a smooth variation of matrix volume fraction in the radial direction. Symmetric and asymmetric volume fraction profiles are presented in this paper. Suitable displacement functions that identically satisfy the boundary conditions at the simply supported edges are used to reduce the equilibrium equations to a set of coupled ordinary differential equations with variable coefficients, which can be solved by a generalized differential quadrature method. The fast rate of convergence of the method is demonstrated, and comparison studies are carried out to establish its very high accuracy and versatility. The main contribution of this work is to illustrate useful results for a cylindrical shell continuously graded fiber reinforced in the radial direction. Finally, these results are compared with a similar discrete laminated composite cylindrical shell.