|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1910s 1920s 1930s – 1940s – 1950s 1960s 1970s|
|Years:||1946 1947 1948 – 1949 – 1950 1951 1952|
|1949 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2702|
|British Regnal year||13 Geo. 6 – 14 Geo. 6|
|Chinese calendar|| 戊子年十二月初三日
— to —己丑年十一月十二日
|- Vikram Samvat||2005–2006|
|- Shaka Samvat||1871–1872|
|- Kali Yuga||5050–5051|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||949–950|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 24
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 38
|Thai solar calendar||2492|
Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar.
- January 1 – UN sponsored ceasefire brings an end to the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947. The war results in a stalemate and the division of Kashmir, which is still continuing as of 2013.
- January 2 – Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
- January 4 – RMS Caronia of the Cunard Line departs Southampton for New York on her maiden voyage.
- January 4 – February 22 – Series of winter storms in Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado and Nevada – winds of up to 72 mph – tens of thousands of cattle and sheep perish.
- January 5 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman unveils his Fair Deal program.
- January 11 - Los Angeles, California receives its first recorded snowfall.
- January 16 – Şemsettin Günaltay forms the new government of Turkey. (18th government, last single party government of CHP)
- January 17 – The first VW Type 1 to arrive in the United States, a 1948 model, is brought to New York by Dutch businessman Ben Pon. Unable to interest dealers or importers in the Volkswagen, Pon sells the sample car to pay his travel expenses. Only two 1949 models were sold in America that year, convincing Volkswagen chairman Heinrich Nordhoff the car had no future in the U.S. (The Type 1 went on to become an automotive phenomenon.)
- January 19 – The Poe Toaster first appears at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.
- January 20 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman is inaugurated for his full term.
- January 25
- January 26 – Australian citizenship comes into being and Constitution of India was prepared.
- January 31 – Forces from the Communist Party of China enter Beijing.
- February 1 – Rationing of clothes ends in Britain.
- February 10 – Death of a Salesman opens in the Morosco Theatre and runs for 742 performances.
- February 13 – António Óscar Carmona is re-elected president of Portugal for lack of an opposing candidate.
- February 19 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
- February 22
- Cincinnati Gardens opens in Cincinnati.
- Grady the Cow, a 1,200-pound cow, gets stuck inside a silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma and garners national media attention in the United States.
- March 1
- World heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis retires.
- Indonesia seizes Yogyakarta from the Dutch.
- March 2 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II under Captain James Gallagher lands in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight (it was refueled in flight 4 times).
- March 17 – The Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas, owned by oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy, has its grand opening.
- March 20 – The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Denver & Rio Grande Western, and Western Pacific railroads inaugurate the California Zephyr passenger train between Chicago and Oakland, California, as the first long distance train to feature Vista Dome cars as regular equipment.
- March 25 – An extensive deportation campaign is conducted in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Soviet authorities deport more than 92,000 people from the Baltics to remote areas of the Soviet Union.
- March 26 – The first half of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida, conducted by legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, and performed in concert (i.e. no scenery or costumes), is telecast by NBC, live from Studio 8H at Rockefeller Centre. The second half is telecast a week later. This is the only complete opera that Toscanini ever conducts on television.
- March 28
- United States Secretary of Defense James Forrestal resigns suddenly.
- English astronomer Fred Hoyle coins the term Big Bang during a BBC Third Programme radio broadcast.
- March 29 – The 21st Academy Awards ceremony is held.
- March 31 – The former British colony of Newfoundland joins Canada as its 10th province.
- April 1
- April 4 – The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., creating the NATO defense alliance.
- April 7 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, opens on Broadway and goes on to become R&H's second longest-running musical. It becomes an instant classic of the musical theatre. The score's biggest hit is the song "Some Enchanted Evening".
- April 8 – Kathy Fiscus, 3½ years old, dies from falling down an abandoned well in San Marino, California.
- April 14 – The day the N'Ko alphabet is held to have been completed by Solomana Kante.
- April 18 – Éire formally becomes the Republic of Ireland.
- April 20 – The Royal Navy frigate Amethyst goes up the Yangtze River to evacuate British Commonwealth refugees escaping the advance of Mao's Communist forces. Under heavy fire, she grounds off Rose Island. After an abortive rescue attempt on April 26, she anchors 10 miles upstream. Negotiations with the Communists to let the ship leave drag on for weeks.
- April 23 – Chinese Communist troops take Nanjing.
- April 27 – British Commonwealth of Nations renamed The Commonwealth.
- April 28
- India issues the London Declaration, enabling it (and, thereafter, any other nation) to remain in the British Commonwealth despite becoming a republic, creating the position of ' Head of the Commonwealth', and renaming the organisation as the 'Commonwealth of Nations'.
- Former Philippine First Lady Aurora Quezon, 61, is assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 others are also killed.
- April 29 – The News Review reveals neither Selhurst College nor its headmaster H. Rochester Sneath exist.
- May 1 – Nereid, a moon of Neptune, is discovered by Gerard P. Kuiper.
- May 5 – The Council of Europe is founded by the signing of the Treaty of London.
- May 6 – EDSAC, the first practicable stored-program computer, runs its first program at Cambridge University.
- May 9 – Rainier III of Monaco becomes Prince of Monaco, upon the death of his maternal grandfather Louis II.
- May 11
- May 12 – Cold War: The Soviet Union lifts its Blockade of Berlin.
- May 20
- The AFSA (predecessor of the NSA) is established.
- The Kuomintang regime declares Taiwan under martial law.
- May 22 – After two months in Bethesda Naval Hospital, James Forrestal commits suicide, under circumstances that seem suspicious to many.
- May 23 – The Federal Republic of Germany is established.
- June 2 – Transjordan becomes the Kingdom of Jordan.
- June 5 – Thailand elects Orapin Chaiyakan, the first Thai female member of Thailand's Parliament.
- June 6 – With the passage of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act by the Indian government, Mahabodhi Temple is restored to partial Buddhist control.
- June 8
- June 14 – Albert II, a rhesus monkey, becomes the first primate to enter space, on U.S. Hermes project V-2 rocket Blossom IVB, but is killed on impact at return.
- June 19 – Glenn Dunaway wins the inaugural NASCAR race at Charlotte Speedway, a 3/4 mile oval in Charlotte, North Carolina, but is disqualified due to illegal springs. Jim Roper is declared the official winner.
- June 24 – The first television western, Hopalong Cassidy, airs on NBC.
- June 29
- July 1 – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was established
- July 11 – Pamir is the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn under sail alone.
- July 19 – The Kingdom of Laos is officially formed but is not independent from the French Army.
- July 20 – Israel and Syria sign a truce to end their 19-month war.
- July 27 – The de Havilland Comet, the Worlds First Jet-Powered Airliner, makes its first flight.
- July 27 – Rhodesia beats the New Zealand All Blacks 10-8 in Bulawayo. The only non test nation to achieve this feat.
- July 30 – Birth of legal aid in England and Wales.
- July 31 – Captain Kerans of the HMS Amethyst decides to make a break after nightfall, under heavy fire from the Chinese People's Liberation Army on both sides of the Yangtze River, and successfully rejoins the fleet at Woosung the next day.
- August 5 – A 6.75 Richter scale earthquake in Ecuador kills 6,000 and destroys 50 towns.
- August 8 – Bhutan becomes independent
- August 12 – The Fourth Geneva Convention is agreed to.
- August 14
- The Salvatore Giuliano Gang explodes mines under a police barracks outside Palermo, Sicily.
- A military coup in Syria ousts the president.
- August 21 – Deportivo Saprissa enters Costa Rica – soccer's first division.
- August 22 – The Queen Charlotte earthquake is Canada's largest earthquake since the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.
- August 24 – North Atlantic Treaty Organization established.
- August 28 – The last 6 surviving veterans of the American Civil War meet in Indianapolis.
- August 29
- August 31 – The retreat of the Greek Democratic Army in Albania after its defeat at Mount Grammos marks the end of the Greek Civil War.
- September 6
- September 7 – The Federal Republic of Germany is officially founded. Konrad Adenauer is the first federal chancellor.
- September 9
- September 13 – The Soviet Union vetoes United Nations membership for Ceylon, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan and Portugal.
- September 17 – The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burns in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives.
- September 19 – The United Kingdom government devalues the pound sterling from $4.03 to $2.80, leading to many other currencies being devalued.
- September 23 – U.S. Harry S. Truman announced that the USSR had the atomic bomb
- September 24 – Laszlo Rajk, ex-foreign minister of Hungary, is sentenced to death.
- September 29
- October 1 – The People's Republic of China is officially proclaimed.
- October 7 – The Democratic Republic of Germany DDR is established officially
- October 13 – Severe flooding hits Guatemala.
- October 16 – Civil war ends in Greece with a communist surrender.
- October 17 – Chinese communist troops take Guangzhou
- October 27
- November 15 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte are executed for assassinating Mohandas Gandhi.
- November 24 – The ski resort in Squaw Valley, California officially opens.
- November 26 – The Indian Constituent Assembly adopts India's constitution .
- November 27 – Indonesia is recognized.
- November 28 – Winston Churchill makes a landmark speech in support of the idea of a European Union at Kingsway Hall, London.
- December 7 – The government of the Republic of China finishes its evacuation to Taiwan, and declares Taipei its temporary capital city.
- December 8 – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) established as a UN agency.
- December 10 – Robert Menzies elected prime minister of Australia.
- December 14 – Traicho Kostov, ex-vice prime minister of Bulgaria, is sentenced to death.
- December 15 – A typhoon strikes a fishing fleet off Korea, killing several thousand.
- December 16 – Sukarno is elected president of the Republic of Indonesia.
- December 17 – Burma recognizes the People's Republic of China.
- December 27 – Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants Indonesia sovereignty.
- December 30 – India recognizes the People's Republic of China.
- The Currywurst is invented in Berlin.
- The Malta Labour Party is founded.
- The Vatican announces that bones uncovered in its subterranean catacombs could be the apostle Peter; 19 years later, Pope Paul VI announces confirmation that the bones belong to this first pope.
- The first 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun prototypes are completed.
- 1949 was the first year in which no African-American was reported lynched in the USA.
- Joseph Stalin launches a savage attack on Soviet Jews, accusing them of being pro-Western and antisocialist.
- Samuel Putnam publishes his new translation of Don Quixote, the first in what we would consider modern English. It is instantly acclaimed and, in 2008, is still in print.
- Fernand Braudel's La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l'Epoque de Philippe II is published.
- January 1
- Vehbi Akdağ, Turkish wrestler
- Max Azria, French fashion designer
- January 2 – Christopher Durang, American playwright
- January 3 – Sylvia Likens, American murder victim (d. 1965)
- January 7 – Chavo Guerrero, Sr., professional wrestler
- January 8 – Wolfgang Puck, Austrian chef
- January 10
- George Foreman, American boxer
- Linda Lovelace, American actress (d. 2002)
- January 12
- Haruki Murakami, Japanese author
- Wayne Wang, Hong Kong-born film director
- Ottmar Hitzfeld, German football player and coach
- January 13 – Brandon Tartikoff, American television executive (d. 1997)
- January 14 – Lawrence Kasdan, American director and screenwriter
- January 16 – Caroline Munro, English actress and model
- January 17 – Andy Kaufman, American comedian and actor (d. 1984)
- January 18 – Philippe Starck, French designer
- January 19
- Robert Palmer, English singer (d. 2003)
- Dennis Taylor, Irish snooker player
- January 20 – Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden
- January 22 – Steve Perry, American rock singer
- January 24 – John Belushi, American actor and comedian (d. 1982)
- January 28 – Gregg Popovich, American basketball coach
- January 29 – Tommi Salmelainen, Helsinki, FIN
- January 30 – Peter Agre, American biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- January 31
- Johan Derksen, Dutch footballer and sports journalist
- Ken Wilber, American philosopher
- February 2
- Brent Spiner, American actor
- Duncan Bannatyne, Scottish entrepreneur
- February 3 – Hennie Kuiper, Dutch cyclist
- February 4 – Rasim Delic, Bosnian military chief of staff and war criminal (d. 2010)
- February 6 – Jim Sheridan, Irish film director
- February 7
- Joe English, American drummer
- Alan Lancaster, English bassist
- February 8 – Brooke Adams, American actress
- February 9 – Judith Light, American actress
- February 10 – Maxime Le Forestier, French singer
- February 15 – Ken Anderson, American NFL player
- February 16 – Lyn Paul, English singer
- February 17 – Dennis Green, American football coach
- February 18 – Gary Ridgway, American serial killer
- February 19 – Dan Bunten, American computer game designer (d. 1998)
- February 20 – Ivana Trump, Czech businesswoman
- February 21 – Ronnie Hellström, Swedish footballer
- February 22 – Niki Lauda, Austrian race car driver
- February 25 – Ric Flair, American professional wrestler
- February 28 – Ilene Graff, American actress and singer
- March 2
- Eddie Money, American rock guitarist and singer
- Gates McFadden, American actress and choreographer
- JPR Williams, Welsh rugby player
- March 3 – Jesse Jefferson, American baseball player
- March 6
- Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan
- Martin Buchan, Scottish footballer
- March 7 – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Indian politician
- March 9 – Tapani Kansa, Finnish singer
- March 10 – Larry Wall, American computer programmer
- March 12
- Rob Cohen, American film director, producer and writer
- Natalia Kuchinskaya, Soviet gymnast
- March 13 – Julia Migenes, American soprano
- March 16
- Elliott Murphy, American singer-songwriter
- Erik Estrada, Puerto Rican actor
- Victor Garber, Canadian actor
- March 17
- Patrick Duffy, American actor
- Michael Finnissy, British composer and pianist
- Pat Rice, Irish footballer and football manager
- March 18 – Alex Higgins, Irish snooker player (d. 2010)
- March 19 – Hirofumi Hirano, Japanese politician and Chief Cabinet Secretary
- March 22 – Fanny Ardant, French actress
- March 23 – Ric Ocasek, American rock musician
- March 24 – Nick Lowe, English musician
- March 26
- Patrick Süskind, German writer
- Vicki Lawrence, American comedienne and game show hostess
- March 29 – Michael Brecker, American jazz musician (d. 2007)
- March 30
- Marcia Ball, American blues musician
- Lene Lovich, American singer
- Naomi Sims, American model and businesswoman
- Elijah Harper, Canadian Aboriginal activist
- April 1
- Gérard Mestrallet, French businessman
- Sammy Nelson, Irish footballer
- Gil Scott-Heron, American musician and composer. (d.2011)
- April 3 – Richard Thompson, English musician and songwriter
- April 6 – Horst Ludwig Störmer, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- April 7 – John Oates, American rock singer and guitarist
- April 8 – Brenda Russell, American-Canadian singer, songwriter and keyboardist
- April 8 – Fanie de Jager, South African operatic tenor
- April 10 – Daniel Mangeas, French bicycle commentator
- April 11 – Bernd Eichinger, German film producer and director (d. 2011)
- April 13 – Christopher Hitchens, English-American writer (d. 2011)
- April 14 – John Shea, American actor
- April 15
- Alla Pugacheva, Russian musical performer
- Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm, Polish born writer
- April 16 – Sandy Hawley, Canadian jockey
- April 18 – Geoff Bodine, American race car driver
- April 19 – Sergey Nikolayevich Volkov, Russian figure skater (d. 1990)
- April 20
- Jessica Lange, American actress
- Veronica Cartwright, English-born actress
- April 21 – Patti Lupone, American actress
- April 23 – Joyce DeWitt, American actress
- April 24 – Véronique Sanson, French singer and songwriter
- April 26 – Jerry Blackwell, American professional wrestler (d. 1995)
- April 28 – Bruno Kirby, American actor (d. 2006)
- May 2 – Alan Titchmarsh, English gardener
- May 3 – Leopoldo Luque, Argentine soccer player
- May 4 – John Force, American race car driver
- May 9 – Billy Joel, American singer-songwriter and pianist
- May 13 – Zoë Wanamaker, English-American actress
- May 14 – Sverre Årnes, Norwegian writer
- May 18
- Rick Wakeman, English rock musician and songwriter
- Bill Wallace, Canadian rock musician ( The Guess Who)
- May 19
- Dusty Hill, American bassist ( ZZ Top)
- Archie Manning, American football player
- May 20 – Dave Thomas, Canadian actor and comedian
- May 23 – Alan Garcia Perez, President of Peru
- May 24 – Tomaž Pisanski, Slovenian mathematician
- May 26
- Philip Michael Thomas, American actor
- Hank Williams, Jr., American country singer
- Pam Grier, American actress
- May 27 – Jo Ann Harris American actress
- May 29 – Francis Rossi, English rock guitarist/singer ( Status Quo)
- May 31 – Tom Berenger, American actor
- June 2 – Heather Couper, British astronomer
- June 4 – Mark B. Cohen, Pennsylvania legislative leader
- June 8 – Emanuel Ax, Polish-born pianist
- June 11 – Frank Beard, American drummer ( ZZ Top)
- June 13 – Ann Druyan, American popular science writer
- June 14 – Harry Turtledove, American historian and novelist
- June 15 – Jim Varney, American actor (d. 2000)
- June 17 – Andrei Fursenko, Russian politician, scientist and businessman
- June 18
- June 19 – Hassan Shehata, Egyptian footballer and coach
- June 20 – Lionel Richie, American singer-songwriter ( Commodores)
- June 21 – Jane Urquhart, Canadian author
- June 22
- Alan Osmond, American pop singer
- Meryl Streep, American actress
- June 25 – Kene Holliday, American actor
- June 27 – Vera Wang, American fashion designer
- July 2 – David Eaton, American composer/conductor/producer
- July 3
- Jan Smithers, American actress
- Johnnie Wilder, Jr., American vocalist (d. 2006)
- July 6 – Noli de Castro, Filipino broadcast journalist and radio commentator, Vice President of the Philippines
- July 7 – Shelley Duvall, American actress
- July 9
- Jesse Duplantis, American televangelist
- Nigel Lythgoe, British television producer and personality
- July 11
- Émerson Leão, Brazilian footballer
- Ingrid Newkirk, British-born American-based animal rights activist
- July 13 – Helena Fibingerova, Czech athlete
- July 15
- Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, former Prime Minister of Sweden
- Trevor Horn, British singer and producer
- July 17
- Geezer Butler, British heavy metal bassist ( Black Sabbath)
- William C. Faure, South African film director
- Charlie Steiner, American sportscaster
- July 22
- Alan Menken, American composer
- Lasse Viren, Finnish long-distance runner
- July 26
- Roger Meddows-Taylor, English rock musician (Queen)
- Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai businessman and former Prime Minister
- August 2 – Fernando Collor de Mello, former President of Brazil
- August 4 – John Riggins, American football player
- August 6 – Alan Campbell, Northern Irish clergyman
- August 7 – Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese Druze
- August 11 – Sandra Scheuer, Kent State University shooting victim (d. 1970)
- August 12
- Mark Knopfler, British rock guitarist ( Dire Straits)
- Fernando Collor de Mello, President of Brazil
- Mark Essex, American mass murderer (d. 1973)
- August 15 – Beverly Lynn Burns, American pilot, first woman in the world to captain the Boeing 747
- August 16 – Barbara Goodson, American actress/voice actress
- August 20 – Philip Lynott, Irish rock musician (d. 1986)
- August 21 – Loretta Devine, American actress
- August 23
- Shelley Long, American actress
- Rick Springfield, Australian rock singer and actor
- August 24 – Charles Rocket, American actor (d. 2005)
- August 25
- Martin Amis, English novelist
- Gene Simmons, American rock musician ( Kiss)
- August 28 – Svetislav Pešić, Serbian basketball player and coach
- August 31
- Richard Gere, American actor
- H. David Politzer, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- September 1 – Leslie Feinberg, American transgender activist
- September 7
- Lee McGeorge Durrell, American author, television presenter, and zookeeper
- Gloria Gaynor, American singer
- September 9
- Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, current President of Indonesia
- Joe Theismann, American football player
- Alain Mosconi, French swimmer, Olympic medalist and previous world record holder
- September 10 – Bill O'Reilly, American conservative radio and television commentator
- September 13 – John W. Henry, American foreign exchange advisor, Boston Red Sox owner
- September 14 – Eikichi Yazawa, Japanese singer
- September 15 – Joe Barton, American politician
- September 16 – Ed Begley, Jr. American actor and environmentalist
- September 18
- Mo Mowlam, British politician (d. 2005)
- Peter Shilton, English goalkeeper
- September 19 – Twiggy Lawson, English model
- September 23 – Bruce Springsteen, American singer and songwriter
- September 25 – Inshan Ali, West Indian cricketer (d. 1995)
- September 26 – Jane Smiley, American novelist
- September 27 – Mike Schmidt, American baseball player
- October 1 – Isaac Bonewits, American author and occultist
- October 2
- Richard Hell, American musician and writer
- Annie Leibovitz, American photographer
- October 4 – Armand Assante, American actor
- October 6 – Bobby Farrell, West Indian-born dancer ( Boney M.) (d. 2010)
- October 7 – Ronnie Mund, American television personality
- October 8
- Jerry Bittle, American cartoonist (d. 2003)
- Sigourney Weaver, American actress
- October 12
- Carlos the Jackal, Venezuelan-born mercenary
- Stan Hansen, American professional wrestler
- October 14
- Katy Manning, English actress
- Katha Pollitt, American writer
- October 17 – Bill Hudson, American musician
- October 20 – Valeriy Borzov, Ukrainian athlete
- October 21 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
- October 22 – Arsène Wenger, French football (soccer) manager
- October 26 – Antonio Carpio, Filipino Supreme Court jurist
- October 27 – Cheryl Keeton, American murder victim
- November 3 – Larry Holmes, American boxer
- November 5
- Armin Shimerman, American actor
- Jimmie Spheeris, American singer-songwriter (d. 1984)
- November 6
- Nigel Havers, British actor
- Joseph C. Wilson, former United States diplomat
- November 7
- November 8 – Bonnie Raitt, American country singer and guitarist
- November 15 – David Rubinstein, American pianist and composer
- November 17 – John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
- November 19 – Ahmad Rashād, American sportscaster and television personality
- November 22 – Shaun Garnett, English footballer and coach
- November 24
- Nick Ainger, British politician
- Pierre Buyoya, former President of Burundi
- November 25 – Kerry James O'Keeffe, Australian cricketer and commentator
- November 26
- Juanin Clay, American actress (d. 1995)
- Shlomo Artzi, Israeli singer
- November 28
- Alexander Godunov, Russian-born dancer and actor (d. 1995)
- Paul Shaffer, Canadian-American musician
- November 29
- Jerry Lawler, American professional wrestler and commentator
- Stan Rogers, Canadian musician (d. 1983)
- Garry Shandling, American comedian
- December 1
- Kurt Schmoke, American Dean, Howard Law School, Mayor of Baltimore
- Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile
- December 3 – John Akii-Bua, Ugandan hurdler (d. 1997)
- December 4
- Jeff Bridges, American actor
- Pamela Stephenson, New Zealand-born comedienne, actress, and singer
- December 7
- Tom Waits, American singer, composer, and actor
- Cathy Wayne, Australian pop entertainer (d. 1969)
- December 8 – Mary Gordon, American writer
- December 12 – Rajinikanth, Indian actor
- December 13
- Robert Lindsay, English actor
- Randy Owen, American country lead vocalist, rhythm guitar player
- Tom Verlaine, American rock singer/guitarist ( Television)
- December 14 – Bill Buckner, American baseball player
- December 15 – Don Johnson, American actor
- December 16 – Billy Gibbons, American guitarist ( ZZ Top)
- December 17 – Paul Rodgers, British rock singer
- December 19 – Sebastian, Danish musician
- December 20 – Claudia Jennings, American model (d. 1979)
- December 22
- December 24 – Randy Neugebauer, American politician
- December 25
- Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, Brazilian singer
- Sissy Spacek, American actress
- Joe Louis Walker, American musician
- December 26 – José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- December 28 – Barbara De Fina, American film producer
- date unknown
- Suthep Po-ngam, Thai comedian, actor, film director and screenwriter
- Mu Tiezhu, Chinese basketball player and coach (d. 2008)
- January 6 – Victor Fleming, American director (b. 1883)
- January 9 – Tommy Handley, British radio comedian (born 1892)
- January 11 – Nelson Doubleday, American publisher (b. 1889)
- January 14
- January 28 – Jean-Pierre Wimille, French race car driver (b. 1908)
- February 1 – Herbert Stothart, American composer (b. 1885)
- February 12 – Imam Hassan al Banna, Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (b. 1906)
- February 17 – Ellery Harding Clark, American athlete (b. 1874)
- February 21 – Tan Malaka, Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader (b. 1894)
- March 7 – Bradbury Robinson, American who threw the first forward pass in American football history in 1906 (b. 1884)
- March 11 – Henri Giraud, French general (b. 1879)
- March 17 – Felix Bressart, German-American actor (b. 1892)
- March 19 – James Somerville, British admiral (b. 1882)
- March 25 – Jack Kapp, president of the U.S. branch of Decca Records (b. 1901)
- March 28 – Grigoraş Dinicu, Romanian composer (b. 1889)
- March 30
- April 6 – Seymour Hicks, British actor (b. 1871)
- April 8 – Kathy Fiscus, girl who became famous after falling down a well in San Marino, California (b. 1945)
- April 15 – Wallace Beery, American actor (b. 1885)
- April 18 – Will Hay, English comedian and actor (b. 1888)
- April 19 – Ulrich Salchow, Swedish figure skater (b. 1877)
- April 22 – Charles B. Middleton, American actor (b. 1874)
- April 28 – Aurora Quezon, First Lady of the Philippines (shot) (b. 1888)
- May 6 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1862)
- May 9 – Louis II, Prince of Monaco (b. 1870)
- May 22
- May 23 – Jan Frans De Boever, Belgian painter (b. 1872)
- May 27 – Robert Ripley, American creator of Ripley's Believe It or Not! (b. 1890)
- June 10 – Sigrid Undset, Norwegian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1882)
- June 14 – Russell Doubleday, American author and publisher (b. 1872)
- June 19 – Syed Zafarul Hasan, Indian/Pakistani Muslim philosopher (b. 1885)
- June 25 – Buck Freeman, American baseball player (b. 1871)
- July 9 – Fritz Hart, English-born composer (b. 1874)
- July 12 – Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland (b. 1860)
- July 18 – Vítězslav Novák, Czech composer (b. 1870)
- July 26 – Linda Arvidson, American actress (b. 1884)
- August 5 – Ernest Fourneau, French chemist and pharmacologist (b. 1872)
- August 9
- August 16 – Margaret Mitchell, American writer (b. 1900)
- August 17 – Gregorio Perfecto, Filipino jurist & politician (b. 1891)
- August 18 – Paul Mares, American musician (b. 1900)
- August 23 – Domingo Díaz Arosemena, President of Panama (b. 1875)
- August 30 – Arthur Fielder, English cricketer (b. 1877)
- September 7 – José Clemente Orozco, Mexican painter (b. 1883)
- September 8 – Richard Strauss, German composer (b. 1864)
- September 10 – Wiley Rutledge, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1894)
- September 13 – August Krogh, Danish zoophysiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1874)
- September 14 – Gottfried Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, German Resistance figure (b. 1901)
- September 18 – Frank Morgan, American actor (b. 1890)
- September 19
- September 20 – Richard Dix, American actor (b. 1893)
- September 22 – Sam Wood, American director (b. 1883)
- October 1 – Buddy Clark, American singer (b. 1911)
- October 14 – Fritz Leiber, Sr., American actor (b. 1882)
- October 15 – Elmer Clifton, American actor and director (b. 1890)
- October 23 – Almanzo Wilder, American writer, and husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder (b. 1857)
- October 27
- October 31 – Edward Stettinius, Jr., U.S. Secretary of State (b. 1900)
- November – Maria Josepha Sophia de Iturbide, head of the Imperial House of Mexico (b. 1872)
- November 2
- November 3 – Solomon R. Guggenheim, American philanthropist (b. 1861)
- November 5 – Abdolhossein Hazhir, Prime Minister of Iran (b. 1899)
- November 11 – Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, Thai Buddhist monk (b. 1871)
- November 15 (executed):
- Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mohandas Gandhi(b. 1910)
- Narayan Apte, Hindu activist, Godse's accomplice (b. 1911)
- November 25 – Bill Robinson, American dancer (b. 1878)
- November 30 – Irene Vanbrugh, English actress (b. 1872)
- December 3 – Maria Ouspenskaya, Russian actress (b. 1876)
- December 6 – Lead Belly, American blues musician (b. 1888)
- December 11 – Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya, Indian philosopher (b. 1875)
- December 16 – Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (b. 1873)
- December 25 – Leon Schlesinger, American producer and filmmaker (b. 1884)
- December 28 – Hervey Allen, American author (b. 1889)
- December 28 – Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (b. 1910)
- December 31 – Raimond Valgre, Estonian composer and musician (b. 1913)