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|1954 by topic|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2707|
|Balinese saka calendar||1875–1876|
|British Regnal year||2 Eliz. 2 – 3 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||癸巳年 (Water Snake)|
4650 or 4590
— to —
甲午年 (Wood Horse)
4651 or 4591
|- Vikram Samvat||2010–2011|
|- Shaka Samvat||1875–1876|
|- Kali Yuga||5054–5055|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 29|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 43|
|Thai solar calendar||2497|
2080 or 1699 or 927
— to —
2081 or 1700 or 928
1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1954th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 954th year of the 2nd millennium, the 54th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1950s decade.
- January 1 – The Soviet Union ceases to demand war reparations from West Germany.
- January 3 – The Italian broadcaster RAI officially begins transmitting.
- January 7 – Georgetown-IBM experiment: The first public demonstration of a machine translation system is held in New York, at the head office of IBM.
- January 10 – BOAC Flight 781, a de Havilland Comet jet plane, disintegrates in mid-air due to metal fatigue, and crashes in the Mediterranean near Elba; all 35 people on board are killed.
- January 12 – Avalanches in Austria kill more than 200.
- January 15 – Mau Mau leader Waruhiu Itote is captured in Kenya.
- January 17 – In Yugoslavia, Milovan Đilas, one of the leading members of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, is relieved of his duties.
- January 20 – The US-based National Negro Network is established, with 46 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 10 – After authorizing $385 million over the $400 million already budgeted for military aid to Vietnam, President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower warns against his country's intervention in Vietnam.
- February 19 – 1954 transfer of Crimea: The Soviet Politburo of the Soviet Union orders the transfer the Crimean Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR (Invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014).
- February 23 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, 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 5; they are 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 – Việt Minh forces under General Võ Nguyên Giáp began a massive artillery bombardment on the French military, beginning the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the climactic battle of the First Indochina War.
- 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 at Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands.
- March 28
- March 29 – A C-47 transport with 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.
- April 1
- April 3 – Petrov Affair: Diplomat Vladimir Petrov defects from the Soviet Union and asks for political asylum in Australia.
- April 4 – Legendary symphony conductor Arturo Toscanini experiences a lapse of memory during a concert. At this concert's end, his retirement is announced, and he 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 is denoted as the most boring day in the 20th century by True Knowledge, an answer engine developed by William Tunstall-Pedoe. No significant newsworthy events, births, or deaths are known to have happened on this day.
- In a general election in Belgium, the dominant Christian Social Party wins 95 of the 212 seats in the Chamber of Representatives, and 49 of the 106 seats in the Senate. The government led by Jean Van Houtte loses their majority in parliament. The two other main parties, the Socialist and Liberal Party, subsequently form a rare "purple" government, with Achille Van Acker as Prime Minister.
- April 12 – Bill Haley & His Comets record "Rock Around the Clock" in their first session for American Decca in New York City; it is released on May 20 as a B-side, but only in 1955 becomes a #1 hit, helping to initiate the rock and roll craze.
- April 14
- 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
- April 26
- April 28 – U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles accuses Communist China of sending combat troops to Indo-China to train Viet Minh guerrillas.
- May 1 – The Unification Church is founded in South Korea.
- May 4 – General Alfredo Stroessner deposes Federico Chávez in a coup d'état in Paraguay; from August 15 he will hold the office of President until 1989.
- May 6 – Roger Bannister runs the first sub-four minute mile, in Oxford, England.
- May 7 – Vietnam War (run-up): The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat (the battle began on March 13).
- May 8 – The 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 airplane is released, after about 2 years of development.
- The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict was adopted in The Hague, Netherlands.
- May 15 – The Latin Union (Unión Latina) is created by the Convention of Madrid. Its member countries use the five Romance languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. It will suspend operations in 2012.
- May 17
- May 20 – Chiang Kai-shek is re-elected 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
- 1954 Australian federal election: Robert Menzies' Liberal/Country Coalition Government is re-elected with a decreased majority, defeating the Labor Party led by H.V. Evatt. The election has come shortly after the Petrov Affair, arguably helping the Government survive what was initially predicted to be a defeat.
- 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 6 – The grand opening of the sculpture of Yuriy Dolgorukiy takes place in Moscow (this statue is one of the main monuments of Moscow).
- June 7 – English cryptanalyst, mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, age 41, commits suicide by cyanide poisoning.
- June 9 – McCarthyism: Joseph N. 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 – Birth of Josée Larocque in Bedford, Canada.
- June 17 – A CIA-engineered military coup occurs in Guatemala.
- June 18 – Pierre Mendès France becomes prime minister of France.
- June 22
- 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
- July 10 – Peter Thomson becomes the first Australian to win the British Open Golf Championship.
- July 15
- July 19 – Release of Elvis Presley's first single, "That's All Right", by Sun Records (recorded July 5 in Memphis, Tennessee).
- 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 of the de facto regimes of North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and the Vietnam War.
- July 29 – The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of three volumes in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings, is published in London.
- July 31 – 1954 Italian expedition to K2: Italian mountaineers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni become the first to reach the summit of the second highest mountain in the world, in the Karakoram range.
- 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. She is the first of the five to perish; three live into the 21st century.
- August 16 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated magazine is published in the United States.
- August 23 – A United States Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules makes its first flight at Burbank, California, manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
- 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 6 – The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) treaty is signed in Manila, Philippines.
- September 8 – SEATO is established in Bangkok, Thailand.
- September 9 – The 6.7 Mw Chlef earthquake shakes northern Algeria, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). The shock destroys Orléansville, leaving 1,243–1,409 dead, and 5,000 injured.
- 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, occur along the East Coast of the United States.
- September 17 – William Golding's allegorical dystopian novel Lord of the Flies is published in London.
- September 18 – Finnish president J. K. Paasikivi is the first Western head of state to be awarded the highest honor of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin.
- September 20 – The first Moomins comic strip is published in the London newspaper The Evening News.
- September 25 – Footscray Football Club wins their first Australian Football League Grand Final.
- September 26 – Japanese ferry Tōya Maru sinks during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait. More than 1,100 people are killed, 7 other ships are wrecked, and at least nine others seriously damaged.
- September 27 – The Tonight Show first airs on live television on NBC in the United States being the first late night talk show.
- September 30 – The USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world, is commissioned into the U.S. Navy.
- 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
- October 23
- 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
- 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 – U.S. 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 Harbor at Ellis Island closes permanently.
- November 13 – Great Britain defeats France, to capture the first ever Rugby League World Cup in Paris in front of around 30,000 spectators
- November 14 – Egyptian president Muhammad Naguib is deposed, and Gamal Abdel Nasser replaces him.
- November 22 – Berman v. Parker (348 U.S. 26): The U.S. Supreme Court upholds 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
- December 4 – The first Burger King opens in Miami, Florida.
- December 15 – The Netherlands Antilles is created out of the Dutch Caribbean nations. It is dissolved between 1986 and 2010.
- December 23 – J. Hartwell Harrison and Joseph Murray perform the world's first successful kidney transplantation, in Boston, Massachusetts.
- December 24 – Laos gains full independence from France.
- New Zealand engineer Sir William Hamilton develops the first pump-jet engine (the "Hamilton Jet") capable of propelling a jetboat.
- The first electric drip brew coffeemaker is patented in Germany and named the Wigomat after its inventor Gottlob Widmann.
- 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 American entrepreneur Gerry Thomas.
- In South Vietnam, the Viet Minh is reorganised into the Viet Cong.
- After the death of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union starts releasing political prisoners and deportees from its Gulag prison camps.
|January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
- January 1
- January 2 – Henry Bonilla, American politician
- January 3 – Ross the Boss, American heavy metal/punk guitarist
- January 4
- January 5 – Alex English, American basketball player
- January 6 – Anthony Minghella, British film, theatre director (d. 2008)
- January 7
- January 8 – Julieta Castellanos, Honduran sociologist
- January 11 – Kailash Satyarthi, Indian activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
- January 11 - Balachandra Menon, Indian Malayalam film director and actor
- January 12 – Howard Stern, American radio host
- January 13 – Trevor Rabin, South African–American musician
- January 14 – Masanobu Fuchi, Japanese professional wrestler
- January 15 – Jose Dalisay, Jr., Filipino writer
- January 19
- January 21 – Thomas de Maizière, German politician
- January 22 – Peter Pilz, Austrian politician
- January 23
- January 28
- January 29
- January 31 – Mark Slavin, Israeli wrestler (d. 1972)
- February 1 – Bill Mumy, American actor, musician (Lost In Space)
- February 2 – Christie Brinkley, American model
- February 4 – Andrei Karlov, Russian diplomat (d. 2016)
- February 7 – Dieter Bohlen, German music producer and singer-songwriter (Modern Talking, Blue System)
- February 9 – Gina Rinehart, Australian mining tycoon
- February 11 – Noriyuki Asakura, Japanese composer
- February 12
- February 13 – Donnie Moore, American baseball player (d. 1989)
- February 15 – Matt Groening, American cartoonist (The Simpsons)
- February 16
- February 17
- February 18
- February 19
- February 20
- February 23 – Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
- February 24 – Sid Meier, Canadian programmer, game designer, notable for the Civilization series
- February 25 – Gerardo Pelusso, Uruguayan football manager
- February 26 – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 12th President of Turkey
- March 1
- March 2
- March 4
- March 5 – João Lourenço, President of Angola
- March 6 – Harald Schumacher, German football goalkeeper
- March 8
- March 9
- March 11 – Nicolae Manea, Romanian football player, manager (d. 2014)
- March 13 – The Baroness Amos, British politician
- March 15
- March 16
- March 17 – Lesley-Anne Down, British actress
- March 18 – James F. Reilly, American astronaut
- March 19 – Indu Shahani, Indian educator, Sheriff of Mumbai
- March 20 – Louis Sachar, American author
- March 23
- March 24
- March 26
- March 29 – Karen Ann Quinlan, American right-to-die cause célèbre (d. 1985)
- April 1
- April 2 – Susumu Hirasawa, Japanese musician
- April 4
- April 5
- April 6
- April 7
- April 8 – Gary Carter, American baseball player (d. 2012)
- April 9
- April 10
- April 14
- April 16 – Ellen Barkin, American actress
- April 17
- April 22 – Jōji Nakata, Japanese voice actor
- April 23
- April 25
- Randy Cross, American football player, broadcaster
- April 27
- April 28 – Michael Daugherty, American composer
- April 29
- April 30 – Jane Campion, New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director
- May 1
- May 2 – Elliot Goldenthal, American composer
- May 5 – David Azulai, Israeli politician (d. 2018)
- May 6 – Angela Hernández Nuñez, Dominican writer
- May 7
- May 8 – Pam Arciero, Hawaiian-born puppeteer (Sesame Street)
- May 10 – Amos Guttman, Israeli film director (d. 1993)
- May 13 – Johnny Logan, Australian-born Irish singer, composer and Eurovision Song Contest winner (1980, 1987) dubbed as "Mister Eurovision"
- May 14
- May 19
- May 20 – David Paterson, American politician, 55th Governor of New York
- May 22 – Shuji Nakamura, Japanese electronics engineer
- May 23 – Marvelous Marvin Hagler, American middleweight boxer and film actor (d. 2021)
- May 25
- May 27
- May 28 – John Tory, Canadian politician
- May 29 – Pankaj Kapur, Indian actor
- June 2
- June 4 – Kazuhiro Yamaji, Japanese actor, voice actor
- June 5
- June 6 – Harvey Fierstein, American actor
- June 9
- June 10 – Kurt Walker, American ice hockey player (d. 2018)
- June 13 – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian-born Director-General of the World Trade Organization
- June 14 – Will Patton, American actor
- June 15
- June 16 – Sergey Kuryokhin, Russian pianist, composer, improvisor, performance artist and actor (d. 1996)
- June 19
- June 20
- June 21
- June 22
- June 23
- June 24 – Chang San-cheng, Taiwanese politician
- June 25
- Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Brazilian actor
- Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
- Igor Lisovsky, Soviet pair skater
- Abderrazak Kilani, Tunisian politician, lawyer
- June 26 – Steve Barton, American actor (d. 2001)
- June 27
- June 28
- June 29
- June 30
- July 1
- July 2
- July 3 – Pennie Lane Trumbull, American socialite, philanthropist, businesswoman, and entrepreneur
- July 4 – Anne Lambton, British actress
- July 5
- July 6 – Willie Randolph, American baseball player, coach, manager
- July 7
- July 8
- July 9 – Kevin O'Leary, Canadian businessman, television personality, and political candidate
- July 10
- July 11 – Alejandro Camacho, Mexican actor and producer
- July 12
- July 13 – Sezen Aksu, Turkish singer
- July 15
- July 16
- July 17
- July 18 – Franziska Troegner, German actress
- July 19 – Verica Kalanović, Serbian politician
- July 20
- July 21 – Otto Jespersen, Norwegian comedian, actor and television personality
- July 22 – Pierre Lebeau, Canadian actor
- July 24
- July 25 – Walter Payton, African-American football player (d. 1999)
- July 26
- July 27
- July 28 – Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela (d. 2013)
- July 29 – Mark Gersmehl, American Christian musician
- August 1
- Baba Gurinder Singh, Fifth and Present Satguru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas
- Philip Trenary, American businessman (d. 2018)
- Michael Badnarik, American software engineer and presidential candidate
- James Gleick, American non fiction author of several award-winning books.
- Junpei Morita, Japanese actor and voice actor
- August 2 – David Tang, Hong Kong-British entrepreneur and philanthropist (d. 2017)
- August 4
- August 7 – Susanna Javicoli, Italian actress (d. 2005)
- August 9 – Pete Thomas, British drummer for the Elvis Costello band
- August 11 – Joe Jackson, British singer-songwriter (Steppin' Out)
- August 12
- August 13
- August 14
- August 16 – James Cameron, Canadian-born film director
- August 17
- August 20
- August 21
- August 22 – Jay Patterson, American actor
- August 23
- August 24
- August 25
- August 29 – István Cserháti, Hungarian keyboardist (d. 2005)
- August 30 – Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus
- August 31
- September 1 – Dave Lumley, Canadian ice hockey player
- September 2
- September 5 – Danny Masterton, Scottish footballer (d. 2020)
- September 6 – Carly Fiorina, American businesswoman, CEO of HP (1999-2005) and Senator Ted Cruz's running mate in the 2016 presidential election
- September 7
- September 9 – Mohsen Rezaee, Iranian politician
- September 10 – Mark W. Everson, American businessman; 46th Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (2003–07)
- September 13 – Steve Kilbey, Australian musician
- September 14 – Buzz Schneider, American professional ice hockey player
- September 15 – Nava Semel, Israeli author and playwright (d. 2017)
- September 16 – Ashrita Furman, American record breaker
- September 17
- September 18 – Dennis Johnson, American basketball player (d. 2007)
- September 21
- September 23 – Cherie Blair, lawyer, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair
- 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 29 – Cindy Morgan, American actress
- September 30
- October 1 – Martin Strel, Slovenian swimmer
- October 2 – Wong Tien Fatt, Malaysian politician (d. 2019)
- October 3
- October 5
- October 6 – Howard Hoffman, American voice actor
- October 7 – Robert A. Schuller, American televangelist and the son of Robert Schuller
- October 9
- October 10
- October 12
- October 13 – Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician who revealed secrets of its nuclear weapons program
- October 14 – Mohamad Sabu, Malaysian politician
- October 15
- October 18 – Yūji Mitsuya, Japanese voice actor
- October 19
- October 21 – Brian Tobin, sixth Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- October 22 – Ellen Gerstell, American voice actress
- October 23 – Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director
- October 24
- October 25
- October 26
- October 30
- November 2 – Angela Webber, Australian author, television writer, producer and comedian (d. 2007)
- November 3
- November 5
- November 6 – Karin Fossum, Norwegian crime fiction writer
- November 7
- November 8
- November 11 – Mary Gaitskill, American novelist
- November 12 – Rhonda Shear, American television hostess, actress and comedian
- November 13 – Chris Noth, American actor
- November 14
- November 15
- November 16 – Bruce Edwards, American golf caddy (d. 2004)
- November 19 – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt
- November 20
- Bin Shimada, Japanese voice actor
- November 22 – Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy
- November 23
- November 26
- November 27
- November 28 – Marty Grabstein, American actor and voice actor
- November 29 – Joel Coen, American film director, producer, screenwriter and editor
- December 1 – Bob Goen, American television personality and game show host
- December 2
- December 3 – Grace Andreacchi, American author
- December 4 – Tony Todd, American actor and producer
- December 6 – Beat Furrer, Swiss-born Austrian composer and conductor
- December 7 – Mark Hofmann, American forger and murderer
- December 8 – Sumi Shimamoto, Japanese voice actress
- December 9 – Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg politician
- December 10 – Jack Hues, English singer and musician (Wang Chung)
- December 11
- December 13 – John Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter
- December 14
- December 15 – Mark Warner, American politician
- December 18
- December 20
- December 21 – Chris Evert, American tennis player
- December 23 – Brian Teacher, American tennis player
- December 24 – José María Figueres, Costa Rican politician, President (1994–1998)
- December 25
- December 26
- December 27 – Teo Chee Hean, Singaporean politician and 5th Senior Minister of Singapore
- December 28
- December 29
- December 31 – Alex Salmond, Scottish politician
Date not known
- January 5
- January 8 – Eduard Wiiralt, Estonian artist (b. 1898)
- January 11
- January 12
- January 18 – Sydney Greenstreet, English actor (b. 1879)
- January 20 – Fred Root, English cricketer (b. 1890)
- January 30
- 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 11 – Thomas Pierrepoint, British executioner (b. 1870)
- February 12 – Dziga Vertov, Russian filmmaker (b. 1896)
- February 19 – Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp, 24th Prime Minister of Sweden (b. 1883)
- February 21 – William K. Howard, American film director (b. 1899)
- March 7
- March 9 – Vagn Walfrid Ekman, Swedish oceanographer (b. 1874)
- March 12 – Marianne Weber, German sociologist and suffragist (b. 1870)
- March 13 – Cesar Klein, German painter (b. 1876)
- March 24 – Thành Thái, Emperor of Vietnam (b. 1879)
- March 26 – Louis Silvers, American film composer (b. 1889)
- March 30
- April 2
- April 7 – Saburō Kurusu, Japanese diplomat (b. 1886)
- April 8
- April 10 – Auguste Lumière, French film pioneer (b. 1862)
- April 12 – Luis Cabrera Lobato, Mexican lawyer, politician and writer (b. 1876)
- April 13 – Angus Lewis Macdonald, Nova Scotia Premier (b. 1890)
- April 17 – Lucrețiu Pătrășcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist (b. 1900)
- April 27 – Antoni Bolesław Dobrowolski, Polish scientist and explorer who participated in the Belgian Antarctic expedition (b. 1872)
- 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 5 – Henri Laurens, French sculptor and illustrator (b. 1885)
- 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 22 – Chief Bender, Native-American baseball player (Philadelphia Athletics) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1884)
- May 25 – Robert Capa, Hungarian-born photojournalist (b. 1913)
- May 26 – Omer Nishani, former Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Assembly and head of State of Albania (b. 1887)
- June 7 – Alan Turing, British mathematician, cryptanalyst, and pioneer computer scientist (b. 1912)
- June 9 – Alain LeRoy Locke, American writer, philosopher and educator (b. 1885)
- June 21 – Harvey A. Carr, American psychologists (b. 1873)
- June 22 – Don Hollenbeck, American newscaster (b. 1905)
- June 24 – Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman, 5th Governor-General of Australia (b. 1874)
- June 27 – Alfredo Versoza, Filipino Roman Catholic bishop and Servant of God (b. 1877)
- June 30 – Andrass Samuelsen, 1st prime minister of Faroe Islands (b. 1873)
- July 1
- July 3 – Reginald Marsh, American painter (b. 1898)
- July 4 – Maria Ripamonti, Italian Roman Catholic and a professed religious from the Ancelle della carità (b. 1909)
- July 6
- July 11 – Henry Valentine Knaggs, English physician and author (b. 1859)
- July 13
- July 14
- July 16 – Herms Niel, German composer (b. 1888)
- July 17 – Machine Gun Kelly, American gangster (b. 1895)
- July 19 – Hannes Meyer, Swiss architect (b. 1889)
- July 28 – Sōjin Kamiyama or "Sojin", Japanese film star during the American silent film era (b. 1884)
- July 31 – Princess Antonia of Luxembourg, Luxembourg aristocrat (b. 1899)
- August 3
- August 14 – Hugo Eckener, German president of the Zeppelin Dirigible Company (b. 1868)
- August 19 – Alcide De Gasperi, Italian statesman and Christian Democracy politician, 30th Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1881)
- August 21 – Marin Ceaușu, Romanian general (b. 1891)
- August 24 – Getúlio Vargas, 14th and 17th President of Brazil (suicide) (b. 1882)
- August 31 – Elsa Barker, American writer (b. 1869)
- September 1 – Bert Acosta, American aviator (b. 1895)
- September 2 – Franz Leopold Neumann, German- political activist and Marxist theorist (b. 1900)
- 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 8 – André Derain, French artist, painter and sculptor (b. 1880)
- September 20 – Washington Phillips, American gospel singer and instrumentalist (b. 1880)
- September 21 – Mikimoto Kōkichi, Japanese pearl farm pioneer (b. 1858)
- September 24 – Edward Pilgrim, British homeowner (suicide) (b. 1904)
- September 25 – Eugenio d'Ors, Spanish writer (b. 1881)
- September 26 – Ellen Roosevelt, American tennis player (b. 1868)
- September 27 – Maximilian von Weichs, German field marshal (b. 1881)
- September 28 – Bert Lytell, American actor (b. 1885)
- September 29 – Martin Wetzer, Finnish general (b. 1868)
- October 1 – René Le Senne, French philosopher and psychologist (b. 1882)
- 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 18 – Mieczysław Norwid-Neugebauer, Polish general and politician (b. 1884)
- October 19 – Hugh Duffy, American baseball player (Boston Braves) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1866)
- October 22 – Jibanananda Das, Indian poet, writer, novelist and essayist in Bengali (b. 1899)
- October 30 – Wilbur Shaw, American racing driver (b. 1902)
- November 3 – Henri Matisse, French painter (b. 1869)
- November 10 – Édouard Le Roy, French philosopher and mathematician (b. 1870)
- 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
- November 20 – Clyde Cessna, American aviator and aircraft designer and manufacturer, founder of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation (b. 1879)
- 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 25
- December 30
- Physics – Max Born, Walther Bothe
- Chemistry – Linus Pauling
- Medicine – John Franklin Enders, Thomas Huckle Weller, Frederick Chapman Robbins
- Literature – Ernest Hemingway
- Peace – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
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