|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1920s 1930s 1940s – 1950s – 1960s 1970s 1980s|
|Years:||1951 1952 1953 – 1954 – 1955 1956 1957|
|1954 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2707|
|British Regnal year||2 Eliz. 2 – 3 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 癸巳年十一月廿七日
— to —甲午年十二月初七日
|- Vikram Samvat||2010–2011|
|- Shaka Samvat||1876–1877|
|- Kali Yuga||5055–5056|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||954–955|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 29
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 43
|Thai solar calendar||2497|
Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar.
- January 1 – The Soviet Union ceases to demand war reparations from East Germany.
- January 10 - British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Flight 781, a de Havilland Comet jet plane, disintegrates in mid-air due to metal fatigue and crashes in the Mediterranean Sea near Elba. All 35 people on board are killed.
- January 12 – Avalanches in Austria kill more than 200.
- January 14 – Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe DiMaggio.
- January 15 – Mau Mau leader Waruhiu Itote is captured in Kenya.
- January 17 – In Yugoslavia, Milovan Djilas, one of the leading members of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, is relieved of his duties.
- January 20 - The U.S.-based National Negro Network is established with forty-six member radio stations.
- January 21 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched in Groton, Connecticut, by First Lady of the United States Mamie Eisenhower.
- January 25 – The foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union meet at the Berlin Conference.
- February 3 – Elizabeth II becomes the first reigning monarch to visit Australia.
- February 10 – After authorizing $385 million over the $400 million already budgeted for military aid to Vietnam, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower warns against United States intervention in Vietnam.
- February 23 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.
- February 25 – Lt. Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes premier of Egypt.
- March 1
- U.S. officials announce that a hydrogen bomb test ( Castle Bravo) has been conducted on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
- U.S. Capitol shooting incident: Four Puerto Rican nationalists open fire in the United States House of Representatives chamber and wound five; they were apprehended by security guards.
- March 9 – American journalists Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly produce a 30-minute See It Now documentary, entitled A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy.
- March 12 – Finland and Germany officially end their state of war.
- March 13 – French troops begin the battle against the Viet Minh in Dien Bien Phu.
- March 19 – Joey Giardello knocks out Willie Tory at Madison Square Garden, in the first televised boxing prize fight to be shown in colour.
- March 23 – In Vietnam, the Viet Minh capture the main airstrip of Dien Bien Phu. The remaining French Army units there are partially isolated.
- March 25
- March 27 – The Castle Romeo nuclear test explosion is executed.
- March 28 – Puerto Rico's first television station, WKAQ-TV, commences broadcasting.
- March 29 – A C-47 transport with the French nurse Geneviève de Galard on board is wrecked on the runway at Dien Bien Phu.
- March 30 – The first operational subway line in Canada opens in Toronto, Ontario.
- April - Bill Haley & His Comets record " Rock Around The Clock" thus starting the Rock and Roll craze.
- April 1
- April 3 – Vladimir Petrov defects from the Soviet Union and asks for political asylum in Australia.
- April 4 – The legendary symphony conductor Arturo Toscanini experiences a lapse of memory during a concert. At this concert's end, his retirement is announced, and Toscanini never conducts in public again.
- April 7 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his " domino theory" speech during a news conference.
- April 8 – A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collides with a Trans-Canada Air Lines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
- April 11 – This day was denoted as the most boring day in the 20th century by True Knowledge, an answer engine developed by William Tunstall-Pedoe.
- April 14
- Aneurin Bevan resigns from the British Labour Party's " shadow cabinet".
- A Soviet spy ring in Australia is unveiled.
- April 16 – Vice President Richard Nixon announces that the United States may be “putting our own boys in Indochina regardless of Allied support.”
- April 22 – Senator Joseph McCarthy begins hearings investigating the United States Army for being "soft" on Communism.
- April 26 – International conference on Korea and Indo-China opens in Geneva.
- April 28 – U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles accuses Communist China of sending combat troops to Indo-China to train the Viet Minh guerrillas.
- May 1 – The Unification Church is founded in South Korea.
- May 4 – General Alfredo Stroessner seizes power in a coup d'état in Paraguay.
- May 6 – Roger Bannister runs the first sub-four minute mile, in Oxford, England.
- May 7 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat (the battle began on March 13).
- May 8 – Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is formed in Manila, Philippines.
- May 11 – U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles declares that Indochina is important but not essential to the security of Southeast Asia thus ending any prospect of American intervention on the side of France.
- May 14 – The Boeing 707 is released after about two years of development.
- May 15 – Latin Union (Unión Latina) created by the Convention of Madrid. Its member countries use the five Romance languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.
- May 17
- May 20 – Chiang Kai-shek is reelected as the president of the Republic of China by the National Assembly.
- May 22 – The common Nordic Labour Market act is signed.
- May 26 – A fire on board the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts, kills 103 sailors.
- May 29
- Robert Menzies's government is reelected for a fourth term in Australia.
- Creation and first meeting of the Bilderberg Group.
- Diane Leather becomes the first woman to run a sub-five minute mile, in Birmingham, England.
- June 7 - Early computer scientist Alan Turing commits suicide.
- June 9 – McCarthyism: Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy, during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army, saying, 'Have you, at long last, no decency?'.
- June 14 – The words "under God" are added to the United States Pledge of Allegiance.
- June 15 – The UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is formed in Basel, Switzerland.
- June 16 – July 4 – the 1954 FIFA World Cup is held in Switzerland
- June 17 – A CIA-engineered military coup occurs in Guatemala.
- June 18 – Pierre Mendès-France becomes prime minister of France.
- June 27
- July 1
- The Common Nordic Labor Market Act comes into effect.
- The United States officially begins using the international unit of the nautical mile, equal to 6,076.11549 ft. or 1,852 meters.
- July 4
- Food rationing in Great Britain ends with the lifting of restrictions on sale and purchase of meat, 14 years after it began early in World War II and nearly a decade after the war's end.
- West Germany beats Hungary 3–2 to win the 1954 FIFA World Cup.
- July 10 – Peter Thomson becomes the first Australian to win the British Open Golf Championship.
- July 15
- The maiden flight of the Boeing 367-80 (or Dash 80), prototype of the Boeing 707 series.
- Juan Fangio, the Argentine driver for German Grand Prix team Mercedes-Benz, makes a new fastest lap of the Silverstone Circuit with an average speed of 100.35 mph, the previous record being 100.16 mph.
- July 21 – First Indochina War: The Geneva Conference sends French forces to the south, and Vietnamese forces to the north, of a ceasefire line, and calls for elections to decide the government for all of Vietnam by July 1956. Failure to abide by the terms of the agreement leads to the establishment de facto of regimes of North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and the Vietnam War.
- July 31 – Italian mountaineers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni become the first successfully to reach the summit of the Himalayan peak K2.
- August 1 - The First Indochina War ends with the Vietnam People's Army in North Vietnam, the Vietnamese National Army in South Vietnam, the Kingdom of Cambodia in Cambodia and the Kingdom of Laos in Laos emerging victorious against the French Army.
- August 6 – Emilie Dionne, one of the Dionne quintuplets, dies of asphyxiation following an epileptic seizure at Sainte Agathe, Quebec. She was the first of the five to perish, and three of them lived into the 21st Century.
- August 16 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated magazine is published in the United States.
- August 24 – Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas commits suicide after being accused of involvement in a conspiracy to murder his chief political opponent, Carlos Lacerda.
- September 3 – The last new episode of The Lone Ranger radio program is broadcast, after 2,956 episodes over a period of 21 years. Reruns of old episodes continued to be transmitted.
- September 6 – The SEATO treaty is signed in Manila, the Philippines.
- September 8 – The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) is established in Bangkok, Thailand.
- September 9 – An earthquake centered on the city of Orléansville, Algeria kills 1,500 and leaves thousands homeless.
- September 11 – The Miss America Pageant is broadcast on television for the first time.
- September 14
- September 15 - Black Wednesday in air travel: severe delays to flights due to bad weather along the East Coast of the United States.
- September 17 – William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies is published in London.
- September 25 – Footscray Football Club win their first Australian Football League Grand Final.
- September 26 – The Japanese ferry Toya Maru sinks during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait. More than 1,100 people are killed. Seven other ships are wrecked and at least nine others seriously damaged.
- September 30 – The USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world, is commissioned into the U.S. Navy.
- October 2 – New York Giants defeat the Cleveland Indians to win the 1954 World Series.
- October 11
- October 15 – Hurricane Hazel makes U.S. landfall; it is the only recorded Category 4 hurricane to strike as far north as North Carolina.
- October 18
- Texas Instruments announces the development of the first commercial transistor radio. The Regency TR-1 goes on sale the following month.
- The comic strip Hi and Lois, by Mort Walker and Dik Browne, is launched.
- October 20 – A dock workers' strike expands in England.
- October 23
- West Germany joins NATO.
- Paris Agreement sets up the Western European Union to implement the Treaty of Brussels (1948) providing for mutual self-defence and other collaboration between Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
- October 25 – Landslides caused by heavy rains hit Salerno, Italy, killing about 300.
- October 26 – Muslim Brotherhood member Mahmoud Abdul Latif tries to kill Gamal Abdel Nasser.
- October 31 – Algerian War of Independence: The Algerian National Liberation Front begins a revolt against French rule.
- November 1 – The FLN attacks representative and public buildings of the French colonial power.
- November 2 – The dock workers' strike in England ends.
- November 3 – The first Godzilla film premieres in Tokyo.
- November 5 – Japan and Burma sign a peace treaty in Rangoon, to end their long-extinct state of war.
- November 10 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) at the Arlington National Cemetery.
- November 12 – The main immigration port-of-entry in New York Harbour at Ellis Island closes permanently.
- November 14 – Egyptian president Mohammed Naguib is deposed, and Gamal Abdel Nasser replaces him.
- November 22 – The U.S. Supreme Court decides the landmark case Berman v. Parker (348 U.S. 26), upholding the federal slum clearance and urban renewal programs.
- November 23 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average rises 3.27 points, or 0.86 percent, closing at an all-time high of 382.74. More significantly, this is the first time the Dow has surpassed its peak level reached just before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
- November 30 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, a four-kilogram piece of the Hodges Meteorite crashes through the roof of a house and badly bruises a napping woman, in the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person.
- December 1 – The first Hyatt Hotel, The Hyatt House Los Angeles, opens on the grounds of Los Angeles International Airport. It is the first hotel in the world built on an airport property.
- December 2
- Red Scare: The United States Senate votes 67–22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
- The Taiwan-United States Mutual Defense Treaty is signed.
- December 4 – The first Burger King opens in Miami, Florida.
- December 23 – J. Hartwell Harrison, and Joseph Murray perform the world's first successful kidney transplant in Boston, Massachusetts.
- December 24 – Laos gains full independence from France.
- New Zealand inventor Sir William Hamilton invents the world's first water pump-jet engine, later named the "Hamilton Jet".
- The first electric drip coffee maker was invented in Germany and named after its inventor Gottlob Widmann "Wi-Go-mat"
- The Boy Scouts of America desegregates on the basis of race.
- Gerbils ( Meriones unguiculatus) are brought to the United States by Dr. Victor Schwentker.
- The case of Lothar Malskat, who had admitted that he had painted the supposedly antique frescoes in Marienkirche himself, goes to trial.
- The TV dinner is introduced by the American entrepreneur Gerry Thomas.
- New York City Ballet founding balletmaster George Balanchine's production of The Nutcracker is staged for the first time in New York City, and it became a tradition there, still being performed annually as of 2010.
- South Korea opens the Gimpo International Airport.
- In South Vietnam the Viet Minh is reorganised into the Viet Cong.
- January 2 – Henry Bonilla, American politician
- January 3 – Ross The Boss, American heavy metal/punk guitarist
- January 4
- Dave "The Devilfish" Ulliott, English professional poker player
- Tina Knowles, Fashion designer, and mother of R&B singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles
- January 5 – Alex English, American basketball player
- January 6 – Anthony Minghella, British film and theatre director (d. 2008)
- January 7 – José María Vitier, Cuban music composer and pianist.
- January 12 – Howard Stern, American radio host
- January 13 – Trevor Rabin, South African–American musician
- January 14
- Tom Cheney, American cartoonist
- Masanobu Fuchi, Japanese professional wrestler
- January 15 – Jose Dalisay, Jr., Filipino writer
- January 17 – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of Robert F Kennedy
- January 19
- Katey Sagal, American actress and singer (Married...with Children)
- Ted DiBiase, American professional wrestler
- January 22 – Peter Pilz, Austrian politician
- January 23
- Franco De Vita, Venezuelan singer and songwriter
- Edward Ka-Spel, British/Dutch rock vocalist ( The Legendary Pink Dots)
- January 29
- Yukinobu Hoshino, Japanese cartoonist
- Terry Kinney, American actor
- Oprah Winfrey, American actress, talk show hostess, producer, and publisher
- February 1 – Bill Mumy, American child actor and musician
- February 2 – Christie Brinkley, American model
- February 7 – Dieter Bohlen, German singer
- February 9
- Chris Gardner, American entrepreneur
- Kevin Warwick, English cybernetic scientist
- February 11 – Noriyuki Asakura, Japanese composer
- February 12 – Philip Zimmermann, American cryptographer
- February 13 – Donnie Moore, American baseball player (d. 1989)
- February 15 – Matt Groening, American cartoonist (The Simpsons)
- February 17
- Rene Russo, American actress
- Yuji Takada, Japanese free-style wrestler
- February 18 – John Travolta, American actor (Saturday Night Fever)
- February 19 – Socrates, Brazilian footballer
- February 20
- Anthony Head, English actor
- Patty Hearst, American heiress and kidnapping victim
- February 23 – Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
- February 25 – Gerardo Pelusso, Uruguayan football manager
- March 1
- Catherine Bach, American actress
- Ron Howard, American actor, director, producer (The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days)
- March 2 – Ed Johnstone, Canadian ice hockey player
- March 4
- François Fillon, Prime Minister of France
- Catherine O'Hara, Canadian actress (SCTV)
- Irina Ratushinskaya, Russian writer
- Willie Thorne, English snooker player
- March 6 – Harald Schumacher, German football goalkeeper
- March 8
- David Wilkie, Scottish swimmer
- Marie-Theres Nadig, Swiss alpine skier
- March 9 – Bobby Sands, Irish Republican, Long Kesh hunger striker (d. 1981)
- March 13 – The Baroness Amos, British politician
- March 15
- Massimo Bubola, Italian singer-songwriter
- Craig Wasson, American actor
- March 16
- SA Griffin, American actor and poet
- Nancy Wilson, American singer, musician, and actress
- March 17 – Lesley-Anne Down, British actress
- March 18 – James F. Reilly, American astronaut
- March 19 – Indu Shahani, Indian educator and Sheriff of Mumbai
- March 20 – Louis Sachar, American author
- March 23 – Geno Auriemma, American basketball coach
- March 24
- Robert Carradine, American actor
- Donna Pescow, American actress and director
- March 26 – Kazuhiko Inoue, Japanese voice actor
- March 29 – Karen Ann Quinlan, American right-to-die cause célèbre (d. 1985)
- April 1 – Dieter Müller, German soccer player
- April 2 – Susumu Hirasawa, Japanese musician
- April 5 – Guy Bertrand, Canadian linguist and radio/television personality
- April 6 – Michael Simms (publisher), American poet and founder of Autumn House Press
- April 7
- Jackie Chan, Hong Kong-born actor
- Tony Dorsett, American football player
- April 8
- Gary Carter, American baseball player (d. 2012)
- John Schneider, American actor (Dukes of Hazzard)
- April 9
- Dennis Quaid, American actor
- Steve Holt, Canadian musician
- April 10 – Anacani, Mexican-born American singer ( The Lawrence Welk Show)
- April 14 – Bruce Sterling, American science fiction writer
- April 16 – Ellen Barkin, American actress
- April 17 - Rowdy Roddy Piper, Canadian wrestler
- April 27 – Herman Edwards, American football head coach
- April 28 – Michael Daugherty, American composer
- April 29
- Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian
- Jake Burton Carpenter, American founder of Burton Snowboards
- May 1
- Archie Norman, British politician and businessman
- Ray Parker, Jr. African-American musician and composer ( Raydio)
- May 7
- Philippe Geluck, Belgian cartoonist
- Amy Heckerling, American film director
- May 8
- Gary Wilmot, British entertainer
- John Michael Talbot, American Christian musician
- Pam Arciero, Sesame Street puppeteer, known best as performing Oscar the Grouch's girlfriend, Grundgetta
- May 19 – Phil Rudd, Australian rock drummer ( AC/DC)
- May 22 – Shuji Nakamura, Japanese electronics engineer
- May 26 – Danny Rolling, American murderer (d. 2006)
- May 27 – Pauline Hanson, Australian politician
- June 5 – Nancy Stafford, American actress and Christian author
- June 6 – Judi Bowker, English television and cinema actress
- June 9
- John Hagelin, American physicist and U.S. Presidential candidate
- Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada
- June 14 – Will Patton, American actor
- June 15 – Jim Belushi, American actor ( Saturday Night Live)
- June 16 – Sergey Kuryokhin, Russian pianist, composer, improvisor, performance artist and actor (d. 1996)
- June 19
- Ted Coombs, American artist
- Kathleen Turner, American actress
- June 20
- June 22 – Freddie Prinze, American actor and comedian (d. 1977)
- June 25 – Sonia Sotomayor, American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
- June 26 – Steve Barton, American actor (d. 2001)
- June 27 – Ron Kirk, Mayor of Dallas, Texas
- June 28 – Ava Barber, American country singer ( The Lawrence Welk Show)
- June 29 – Rick Honeycutt, American baseball player and coach
- June 30 – Pierre Charles, Prime Minister of Dominica (d. 2004)
- July 2 – Peter Randall-Page, British artist
- July 5 – John Wright, New Zealand cricket captain
- July 6 – Willie Randolph, American baseball player, coach, manager
- July 10 – Neil Tennant, British musician
- July 13 – Sezen Aksu, Turkish singer
- July 15
- Tarak Dhiab, Tunisian footballer
- Mario Kempes, Argentine footballer
- July 16 – Jeanette Mott Oxford, American politician
- July 17
- Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
- J. Michael Straczynski, American author
- Eduardo Romero, Argentine golfer
- July 20 – Wilson Casey, American syndicated columnist and entertainer
- July 22 – Pierre Lebeau, Canadian actor
- July 24 – Jorge Jesus, Portuguese football player and coach
- July 25 – Walter Payton, African-American football player (d. 1999)
- July 26 – Vitas Gerulaitis, American tennis player (d. 1994)
- July 27
- Lynne Frederick, British actress (d. 1994)
- Philippe Alliot, French race car driver
- July 28 – Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela (d. 2013)
- July 29 – Mark Gersmehl, American Christian musician
- August 1
- James Gleick, an American nonfiction author of several award-winning books.
- Michael J. Badnarik, American software engineer and presidential candidate
- August 4
- Uwe Wittwer, Swiss artist
- François Valéry, French singer-songwriter and composer
- August 9 – Pete Thomas, American longtime drummer for the Elvis Costello band
- August 11 – Joe Jackson, British rock 'n' roll singer (Steppin' Out)
- August 12
- Sam J. Jones, American actor
- Pat Metheny, American jazz guitarist
- François Hollande, French politician
- August 13 – Nico Assumpção, Brazilian bass fiddle player
- August 14
- Mark Fidrych, American baseball player (d.2009)
- Stanley McChrystal, a major U.S. Army general
- August 16 – James Cameron, Canadian-born film director
- August 17 – Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Russian-Irish writer
- August 20
- Tawn Mastrey, American disc jockey, music video producer (d. 2007)
- Al Roker, African-American television announcer (Today)
- Don Stark, American actor
- August 21
- Ivan Stang, American author and publisher
- Steve Smith, American drummer
- August 23 – Charles Busch, American director, writer, and actor
- August 24 – Philippe Cataldo, French singer
- August 25 – Elvis Costello (born as Declan MacManus), a British popular musician
- August 29 – István Cserháti, Hungarian keyboardist (d. 2005)
- August 30 – Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus
- August 31 - Caroline Cossey, British model
- September 1 – Dave Lumley, Canadian ice hockey player
- September 7 – Michael Emerson, American actor
- September 10 – Mark W. Everson, incoming President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross
- September 13 – Steve Kilbey, Australian musician
- September 17 – Joël-François Durand, French composer
- September 18 – Dennis Johnson, American basketball player (d. 2007)
- September 21 – Shinzo Abe, Japanese politician
- September 24 - Lilian Mercedes Letona, Salvadoran guerrilla (d. 1983)
- September 26 – Kevin Kennedy, American baseball manager and television host
- September 28 – Steve Largent, American football player and congressman
- September 30 – Barry Williams, American actor
- October 1 – Martin Strel, Slovenian swimmer
- October 3
- Dennis Eckersley, American baseball player
- Stevie Ray Vaughan, American musician (d. 1990)
- Al Sharpton, African-American Protestant minister and politician
- Eddie DeGarmo, American Christian keyboardist and producer
- October 5 – Wayne Watson, American Christian musician
- October 7 – Robert A. Schuller, American televangelist and the son of Robert H. Schuller
- October 9
- Scott Bakula, American actor noted for Quantum Leap
- John O'Hurley, American actor and game show host
- October 10
- David Lee Roth, American rock singer
- Mohamed Mounir, Egyptian singer and actor
- October 12 – Les Dennis, English television presenter and actor
- October 13 – Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician who revealed secrets of its nuclear weapons program
- October 15 – Peter Bakowski, Australian poet
- October 23 – Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director
- October 24
- Mike Rounds, the Governor of South Dakota
- Doug Davidson, American actor
- November 2 – Angela Webber, Australian author, television writer, producer and comedienne (d. 2007)
- November 3
- Brigitte Lin, Taiwanese actress
- Adam Ant, English singer
- Kathy Kinney, American actress and comedienne
- November 7 – Kamal Haasan, Indian actor
- November 8
- Michael D. Brown, U.S. Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Kazuo Ishiguro, Japanese-born British author
- November 12 - Rhonda Shear, American television personality, actress and comedienne
- November 13 – Chris Noth, American actor
- November 14
- November 15 – Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland
- November 16 – Bruce Edwards, American golf caddy (d. 2004)
- November 23 – Bruce Hornsby, American rock singer (That's Just The Way It Is)
- November 26
- Dan Kwong, American performance artist, playwright
- Roz Chast, American "New Yorker" cartoonist
- November 27
- Patricia McPherson, American actress
- Kimmy Robertson, American actress
- November 29 – Joel Coen, American film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor
- December 1 – Bob Goen, American television personality and game show host
- December 2 – Stone Phillips, American television journalist (NBC Dateline)
- December 3 – Grace Andreacchi, American author
- December 6 - Beat Furrer, Swiss-born Austrian composer and conductor
- December 7 – Mark Hofmann, American forger and murderer
- December 10 – Jack Hues, English musician
- December 11
- Sylvester Clarke, West Indian cricketer (d. 1999)
- Jermaine Jackson, American singer
- Prachanda, Nepalese Communist leader
- December 13 – John Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter
- December 14
- Ib Andersen, Danish dancer
- Alan Kulwicki, American race car driver (d. 1993)
- December 18
- Ray Liotta, American actor
- Ulrich Roth, German rock guitarist (Scorpions)
- December 20 – Sandra Cisneros, American writer
- December 21 – Chris Evert, American tennis player
- December 24 – José María Figueres, Costa Rican politician, President 1994–1998
- December 25 – Annie Lennox, British rock singer (Eurythmics)
- December 26 – Susan Butcher, American dog-sled racer (d. 2006)
- December 28
- Denzel Washington, African-American actor
- Lanny Poffo, American professional wrestler
- December 29 – Albrecht Böttcher, German mathematician
- December 31 – Alex Salmond, Scottish politician
- January 5 – Lillian Rich, English actress (b. 1900)
- January 8 – Eduard Wiiralt, Estonian artist (b. 1898)
- January 11 – Oscar Straus, Austrian composer (b. 1870)
- January 12 – William H. P. Blandy, American admiral (b. 1890)
- January 18 – Sydney Greenstreet, English actor (b. 1879)
- January 20 – Fred Root, English cricketer (b. 1890)
- January 30 – John Murray Anderson, Canadian theatre director and producer (b. 1886)
- January 31
- February 6 – Maxwell Bodenheim, American poet and novelist (murdered) (b. 1892)
- February 8 – Laurence Trimble, American actor (b. 1885)
- February 9 – Mabel Paige, American actress (b. 1880)
- February 12 – Dziga Vertov, Russian filmmaker (b. 1896)
- February 21 – William K. Howard, American film director (b. 1899)
- March 7
- March 9 – Vagn Walfrid Ekman, Swedish oceanographer (b. 1874)
- March 26 – Louis Silvers, American film composer (b. 1889)
- April 8 – Fritzi Scheff, actress & singer (b. 1879)
- April 10 – Auguste Lumière, French film pioneer (b. 1862)
- April 12 – Luis Cabrera Lobato, Mexican lawyer, politician and writer (b. 1876)
- April 13 – Angus L. Macdonald, Nova Scotia Premier (b. 1890)
- April 15 – Ülo Altermann, Estonian soldier and forest brother (b. 1923)
- April 17 – Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist (b. 1900)
- April 28 – Léon Jouhaux, French labor leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1879)
- April 29 – Joe May, Austrian-born director (b. 1880)
- May 1 – Tom Tyler, American actor (b. 1903)
- May 3 – Józef Garbień, Polish footballer and physician (b. 1896)
- May 6 – B. C. Forbes, Scottish-born publisher (b. 1880)
- May 14 – Heinz Guderian, German World War II general (b. 1888)
- May 15 – William March, American writer and soldier (b. 1893)
- May 19 – Charles Ives, American composer (b. 1874)
- May 25 – Robert Capa, Hungarian-born photojournalist (b. 1913)
- June 7 – Alan Turing, British mathematician, cryptanalyst, and pioneer computer scientist (b. 1912)
- June 22 – Don Hollenbeck, American newscaster (b. 1905)
- July 1 – Thea von Harbou, German actress (b. 1888)
- July 3 – Reginald Marsh, American artist (b. 1898)
- July 6 – Gabriel Pascal, Hungarian producer and director (b. 1894)
- July 11 – Henry Valentine Knaggs, English physician and author (b. 1859)
- July 13
- July 14
- July 17 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (b. 1895)
- July 28 – Kamiyama Sojin or "Sojin", Japanese film star during the American silent film era, (b. 1884)
- July 29 – Coen de Koning, Dutch speed skater (b. 1879)
- August 3
- August 14 - Hugo Eckener, President of the Zeppelin Dirigible Company (b. 1868)
- August 24 – Getúlio Vargas, President of Brazil (b. 1882)
- August 31 – Elsa Barker, American writer (b. 1869)
- September 1 – Bert Acosta, American aviator (b. 1895)
- September 3 – Eugene Pallette, American actor (b. 1889)
- September 5 – Eugen Schiffer, German politician (b. 1860)
- September 6 – Edward C. Kalbfus, American admiral (b. 1877)
- September 7
- September 21 – Mikimoto Kōkichi, Japanese pearl farm pioneer (b. 1858)
- September 24 – Edward Pilgrim, British homeowner (suicide) (b. 1904)
- September 28 – Bert Lytell, American actor (b. 1885)
- October 9 – Robert H. Jackson, United States Supreme Court associate justice and chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials (b. 1892)
- October 12 - George Welch, American aviator (b. 1918)
- October 30 – Wilbur Shaw, American racing driver (b. 1902)
- November 3 – Henri Matisse, French painter (b. 1869)
- November 13 – Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist, German field marshal (b. 1881)
- November 15 – Lionel Barrymore, American actor (b. 1878)
- November 16 – Albert Francis Blakeslee, American botanist (b. 1874)
- November 17 – Yitzhak Lamdan, Russian-born Israeli poet and columnist (b. 1899)
- November 22
- November 28 – Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)
- November 29 – Dink Johnson, American musician (b. 1892)
- November 30 – Wilhelm Furtwängler, German conductor (b. 1886)
- December 1 – Fred Rose, American songwriter (b. 1898)
- December 8
- December 20 – James Hilton, English novelist (b. 1900)
- December 23 – René Iché, French sculptor (b. 1897)
- December 30 – Archduke Eugen of Austria, Austrian field marshal (b. 1863)