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|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1940s 1950s 1960s – 1970s – 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Years:||1972 1973 1974 – 1975 – 1976 1977 1978|
|1975 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2728|
|British Regnal year||23 Eliz. 2 – 24 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 甲寅年十一月十九日
— to —乙卯年十一月廿九日
|- Vikram Samvat||2031–2032|
|- Shaka Samvat||1897–1898|
|- Kali Yuga||5076–5077|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||975–976|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 50
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 64
|Thai solar calendar||2518|
Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. It was also declared the International Women's Year by the United Nations and the European Architectural Heritage Year by the Council of Europe.
- January 1
- January 2
- January 5 – The Tasman Bridge in Tasmania, Australia, is struck by the bulk ore carrier Lake Illawarra, killing twelve people.
- January 6
- Wheel of Fortune premieres on NBC.
- AM America makes its television debut on ABC.
- January 7 – OPEC agrees to raise crude oil prices by 10%.
- January 8
- Ella Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first female U.S. governor who did not succeed her husband.
- U.S. President Gerald Ford appoints Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to head a special commission looking into alleged domestic abuses by the CIA.
- January 14 – Heiress Lesley Whittle, 17, is kidnapped from her home in Shropshire, England by Donald Neilson.
- January 15
- January 18 – Atomic Energy Commission divided between ERDA and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- January 19
- Earthquake strikes Himachal Pradesh, India
- The United States Energy Research and Development Administration is founded, in response to the 1973 oil crisis.
- January 20
- January 24 – Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett plays the solo improvisation ' The Köln Concert' at the Cologne Opera, which, recorded live, becomes the best-selling piano recording in history.
- January 26 – Immaculata University defeats the University of Maryland 80-48 in the first nationally televised women's basketball game in the United States.
- January 29 – The Weather Underground bombs the U.S. State Department main office in Washington, D.C..
- February 1 – The Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation is launched in the Philippines.
- February 4 – The Haicheng earthquake, the first successfully predicted earthquake, kills 2,041 and injures 27,538 in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
- February 9 – The Soyuz 17 crew ( Georgi Grechko, Aleksei Gubarev) returns to Earth after 1 month aboard the Salyut 4 space station.
- February 11
- February 13
- February 21 – Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell, and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, are sentenced to between 30 months and 8 years in prison.
- February 23 – In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly 2 months early in the United States.
- February 26 – A fleeing Provisional Irish Republican Army member shoots and kills off-duty London police officer Stephen Tibble, 22, as he gives chase.
- February 27 – The Movement 2 June kidnaps West German politician Peter Lorenz. He is released on March 4 after most of the kidnappers' demands are met.
- February 28
- March 1 – Aston Villa wins the Football League Cup at Wembley, beating Norwich City 1–0 in the final.
- March 4
- March 6
- March 7 – The body of teenage heiress Lesley Whittle, kidnapped 7 weeks earlier by the " Black Panther", is discovered in Staffordshire, England.
- March 8 – The United Nations proclaims International Women's Day.
- March 9 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.
- March 10
- Vietnam War: North Vietnamese troops attack Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, on their way to capturing Saigon.
- The Rocky Horror Show opens on Broadway in New York City with 4 performances.
- Extended portion of Sanyo Shinkansen between Okayama Station and Hakata Station opens, thus making Shinkansen reaching second island, Kyushu, Japan.
- March 11 – The leftist military government in Portugal defeats a rightist coup attempt.
- March 13 – Vietnam War: South Vietnam President Nguyen van Thieu orders the Central Highlands evacuated. This turns into a mass exodus involving troops and civilians (the Convoy of Tears).
- March 15 – In Brazil, the Estado da Guanabara (State of Guanabara) merges with the state of Rio de Janeiro, under the name of Rio de Janeiro. The state's capital moves from the city of Niterói to the city of Rio de Janeiro.
- March 22 – Ding-a-dong by Teach-In (music by Dick Bakker, text by Will Luikinga and Eddy Ouwens) wins the 20th Eurovision Song Contest 1975 for the Netherlands.
- March 25 – King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is shot and killed by his nephew; the killer is beheaded on June 18. ( King Khalid succeeds Faisal.)
- March 28 – A fire in the maternity wing at Kucic Hospital in Rijeka, former Yugoslavia, kills 25 people.
- March 31
- Süleyman Demirel of AP forms the new government of Turkey (39th government, a four-party coalition, so-called First National Front ( Turkish: Milliyetçi cephe))
- In his final game on the sideline, John Wooden coaches UCLA to its 10th national championship in 12 seasons when the Bruins defeat Kentucky 92-85 in the title game at San Diego, California.
- April 3 – Bobby Fischer refuses to play in a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, giving Karpov the title.
- April 4
- April 5 – The Soviet manned space mission Soyuz 18a ends in failure during its ascent into orbit when a critical malfunction occurs in the second and third stages of the booster rocket during staging, resulting in the cosmonauts and their Soyuz spacecraft having to be ripped free from the vehicle.
- April 9
- April 13
- Bus massacre: The Kataeb militia kills 27 Palestinians during an attack on their bus in Ain El Remmeneh, Lebanon, triggering the Lebanese civil war.
- A coup d'état in Chad led by the military overthrows and kills President François Tombalbaye.
- April 17 – Following several weeks of successful fighting the Khmer Republic surrenders there fore the Cambodian Civil War ends, in which the Communist party of the Khmer Rouge guerilla forces capture Phnom Penh, prompting a forcible mass evacuation of the city and starting off the infamous genocide.
- April 24 – Six Red Army Faction terrorists take over the West German embassy in Stockholm, take 11 hostages and demand the release of the group's jailed members; shortly after, they are captured by Swedish police. (See West German embassy siege)
- April 25 – Vietnam War: As North Vietnamese Army forces close in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy is closed and evacuated, almost 10 years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.
- April 30 – Vietnam War: The Fall of Saigon: The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces from North Vietnam take Saigon, resulting in mass evacuations of Americans and South Vietnamese. As the capital is taken, South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally.
- May 5 – The Busch Gardens Williamsburg Theme Park opens in Virginia.
- May 12 – Mayaguez incident: Khmer Rouge forces in Cambodia seize the United States merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters.
- May 15 – Mayaguez incident: The American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued by the U.S. Navy and Marines; 38 Americans are killed.
- May 16
- May 25 – Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser wins for a second time in a rain-shorted 174 lap, 435 mile (696 km) race.
- May 27 – The Dibbles Bridge Coach Crash near Grassington, North Yorkshire, England results in 32 deaths (the highest ever toll in a United Kingdom road accident).
- May 28 – Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.
- June 5
- June 6 – Georgetown Agreement formally creating the ACP Group signed.
- June 9 – The Order of Australia is awarded for the first time.
- June 10 – In Washington, DC, the Rockefeller Commission issues its report on CIA abuses, recommending a joint congressional oversight committee on intelligence.
- June 19 – Richard Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan is found guilty in absentia of the murder of nanny Sandra Rivett.
- June 25
- June 26 – Two FBI agents and 1 AIM member die in a shootout, at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
- July 1 – The Postmaster-General's Department is disaggregated into the Australian Telecommunications Commission (trading as Telecom Australia) and the Australian Postal Commission (trading as Australia Post).
- July 4 – Sydney newspaper publisher Juanita Nielsen disappears, and is presumed to have been murdered.
- July 5 – Cape Verde gains independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule.
- July 6
- July 9 – The National Assembly of Senegal passes a law that will pave way for a multi-party system (albeit highly restricted).
- July 12 – São Tomé and Príncipe declare independence from Portugal.
- July 17 – Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: A manned American Apollo spacecraft and the manned Soviet Soyuz spacecraft for the Soyuz 19 mission, docks in orbit, marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the 2 nations.
- July 30 – In Detroit, Michigan, former Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
- August 1 – The Helsinki Accords, which officially recognize Europe's national borders and respect for human rights, are signed in Finland.
- August 3 – The Louisiana Superdome opens in New Orleans.
- August 5 – U.S. President Ford posthumously restores the U.S. citizenship of General Robert E. Lee, leader of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.
- August 8
- The Banqiao Dam, in China's Henan Province, fails after a freak typhoon; over 200,000 people perish.
- Samuel Bronfman II, son of the president of Seagram's, is kidnapped in Purchase, New York.
- August 11
- British Leyland Motor Corporation comes under British government control.
- Governor Mário Lemos Pires of Portuguese East Timor abandons the capital Dili, following a UDT coup and the outbreak of civil war between UDT and Fretilin.
- August 15
- August 20 – Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
- August 24 – Officers responsible for the military coup in Greece in 1967 are sentenced to death in Athens. The sentences are later commuted to life imprisonment.
- September–October – In New Zealand, Māori leader Whina Cooper leads a march 5,000 people in support of Maori claims to their land.
- September 5
- In Sacramento, California, Lynette Fromme, a follower of jailed cult leader Charles Manson, attempts to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but is thwarted by a Secret Service agent.
- The London Hilton hotel is bombed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army; 2 people are killed and 63 injured.
- September 6 – A Richter Scale 6.7 magnitude earthquake kills at least 2,085 in Diyarbakir and Lice, Turkey.
- September 9 – Riverfront Coliseum opens in Cincinnati.
- September 14
- September 15 – The French department of Corse, comprising the entire island of Corsica, is divided into two departments: Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud.
- September 16 – Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.
- September 18 – Fugitive Patricia Hearst is captured in San Francisco.
- September 19 – General Vasco Goncalves is ousted as Prime Minister of Portugal.
- September 20 – The term of Tuanku Al-Mutassimu Billahi Muhibbudin Sultan Abdul Halim Al-Muadzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, as the 5th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, ends.
- September 21 – Sultan Yahya Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim Petra, Sultan of Kelantan, becomes the 6th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
- September 22 – U.S. President Gerald Ford survives a second assassination attempt, this time by Sara Jane Moore in San Francisco.
- September 27
- September 28 – The Spaghetti House siege takes place in London.
- September 30 – The Hughes Helicopters (later McDonnell-Douglas, now Boeing IDS) AH-64 Apache makes its first flight.
- October 1 – Thrilla in Manila: Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila, Philippines.
- October 2 – A blast at an explosives factory kills 6 in Beloeil, Quebec.
- October 9 – A bomb explosion outside the Green Park tube station near Piccadilly in London kills 1 and injures 20.
- October 11 – NBC airs the first episode of Saturday Night Live ( George Carlin is the first host; Billy Preston and Janis Ian the first musical guests).
- October 16 – Five Australian-based journalists are killed at Balibo by Indonesian forces, during their incursion into Portuguese Timor.
- October 21 – 1975 World Series: The Cincinnati Reds are defeated by the Boston Red Sox in Game Six off Carlton Fisk's 12th-inning home run to cap off what many consider to be the best World Series game ever played.
- October 22 – The Reds defeat the Red Sox four games to three in a broadcast that breaks records for a televised sporting event.
- October 27 – Robert Poulin kills 1 and wounds 5 at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa, Canada before shooting himself.
- October 30
- Peter Sutcliffe (the "Yorkshire Ripper") commits his first murder, that of Wilma McCann.
- Juan Carlos I of Spain becomes acting Head of State after dictator Francisco Franco concedes that he is too ill to govern.
- November 3
- An independent audit of Mattel, one of the United States' largest toy manufacturers, reveals that company officials fabricated press releases and financial information to "maintain the appearance of continued corporate growth."
- The first petroleum pipeline opens from Cruden Bay to Grangemouth, Scotland.
- The long-running television game show The Price is Right expands from 30 minutes to its current hour-long format on CBS.
- November 6 – The Green March begins: 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converge on the southern city of Tarfaya and wait for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.
- November 7 – A vapor cloud explosion at a petroleum cracking facility in Geleen, Netherlands leaves 14 dead and 109 injured, with fires lasting for 5 days.
- November 10
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379: By a vote of 72–35 (with 32 abstentions), the United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism. The resolution provokes an outcry among Jews around the world.
- The 729-foot (222 m)-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm 17 miles (27 km) from the entrance to Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board (an event immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot).
- Lev Leshchenko revives " Den Pobedy", one of the most popular World War II songs in the USSR.
- November 11
- Angola becomes independent from Portugal; civil war soon erupts.
- Australian constitutional crisis of 1975: Governor-General of Australia Sir John Kerr dismisses the government of Gough Whitlam and commissions Malcolm Fraser as Prime Minister.
- The first annual Vogalonga rowing "race" is held in Venice, Italy.
- November 14 – Spain abandons Western Sahara.
- November 15 – " Group of 6" (G-6) industrialized nations formed.
- November 16 – Beginning of the Third Cod War between UK and Iceland, which lasts until June 1976.
- November 20
- Former California Governor Ronald Reagan enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford.
- Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies in Madrid, effectively marking the end of the dictatorship established following the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of Spain's transition to democracy.
- November 22 – Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of dictator Francisco Franco.
- November 25
- November 26 – The 1975 cult classic movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show came out in America.
- November 27 – Ross McWhirter, co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, is shot dead by the Provisional Irish Republican Army for offering reward money to informers.
- November 28 – Portuguese Timor declares its independence from Portugal as East Timor.
- November 29
- The name "Micro-soft" (for microcomputer software) is used by Bill Gates in a letter to Paul Allen for the first time (Microsoft becomes a registered trademark on November 26, 1976).
- While disabled, the submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19) discharges radioactive coolant water into Apra Harbor, Guam. A Geiger counter at two of the harbour's public beaches shows 100 millirems/hour, 50 times the allowable dose.
- December 2 – In Laos, the communist party of the Pathet Lao takes over Vientiane and defeat the Kingdom of Laos which ends the Laotian Civil War but the ongoing Insurgency in Laos begins with the Pathet Lao fighting the Hmongs, Royalist-in-exile and the Right-wings.
- December 3 – The wreck of the HMHS Britannic is found in the Kea Channel by Jacques Cousteau.
- December 8 – New York City is approved for bailout of 2.3 billion each year through to 1978 – 6.9 billion total.
- December 7 – Indonesia invades East Timor.
- December 21 – Six people, including Carlos (the Jackal), kidnap delegates of an OPEC conference in Vienna.
- December 25 – Iron Maiden is formed by Steve Harris.
- December 29 – A bomb explosion at LaGuardia Airport kills 11.
- The government of Colombia announces the finding of Ciudad Perdida.
- The Spanish army quits Spanish (Western) Sahara, the last remnant of Spain's Empire. The Sahrawi Republic (RASD) is created. Morocco invades ex-Spanish Western Sahara.
- The term fractal is first used.
- Lyme disease first recognised at Lyme, Connecticut.
- Victoria (Australia) abolishes capital punishment.
- South Australia becomes the first Australian state to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.
- Some members of Jehovah's Witnesses, based on the group's chronology, believed that Armageddon would occur in 1975 and a few of them sold their houses and businesses to prepare for the new world paradise which they believed would be created when Jesus establishes God's Kingdom on Earth.
- Peter Gabriel departs Genesis, and is replaced on lead vocals by drummer Phil Collins.
- The first Monster Truck, Bigfoot, was created by Bob Chandler
- January 4 – Carlo Levi, Italian writer (b. 1902)
- January 8 – David Marshall Williams ("Carbine" Williams), American inventor (b. 1900)
- January 18 – Chester Kallman, American poet (b. 1921)
- January 19 – Thomas Hart Benton, American artist (b. 1889)
- January 24
- January 27 – Bill Walsh, American film producer and writer (b. 1913)
- January 28 – Ola Raknes, Norwegian psychoanalyst and philologist (b. 1887)
- February 3 – Umm Kulthum, Egyptian actress and singer (b. 1904)
- February 4 – Louis Jordan, American musician (b. 1908)
- February 8 – Robert Robinson, British chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1886)
- February 10 – Nikos Kavvadias, Greek poet and writer (stroke) (b. 1910)
- February 11 – Richard Ratsimandrava, Madagascar President (assassinated) (b. 1931)
- February 13 – André Beaufre, French general (b. 1902)
- February 14
- February 16 – Morgan Taylor, American athlete (b. 1903)
- February 17 – George Marshall, American film director (b. 1891)
- February 19 – Luigi Dallapiccola, Italian composer (b. 1904)
- February 20 – Robert Strauss, American actor (b. 1913)
- February 24 – Nikolai Bulganin, Premier of the Soviet Union (b. 1895)
- February 25 – Elijah Muhammad, African-American Nation of Islam leader (b. 1897)
- February 26 – Stephen Tibble, London police officer (shot) (b. 1953)
- March 3 – Therese Giehse, German actress (b. 1898)
- March 7
- March 8 – George Stevens, American director, producer, and cinematographer (b. 1904)
- March 9
- March 13 – Ivo Andric, Serbo-Croatian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
- March 14 – Susan Hayward, American actress (b. 1917)
- March 15 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate (b. 1906)
- March 16 – Richard W. DeKorte, American New Jersey Energy Administrator and former member of the New Jersey General Assembly (b. 1936)
- March 19
- March 22 – Cass Daley, American actress (b. 1915)
- March 25
- April 3 – Mary Ure, Scottish actress (b. 1933)
- April 5
- April 10
- April 12 – Josephine Baker, African-American dancer (b. 1906)
- April 13
- April 14 – Fredric March, American actor (b. 1897)
- April 15 – Richard Conte, American actor (b. 1910)
- April 17 – Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian philosopher and president (b. 1888)
- April 21 – William Anderson, English cricketer (b. 1909)
- April 23 – William Hartnell, British actor (b. 1908)
- April 24 – Pete Ham, Welsh musician (b. 1947)
- April 30 – Gen Paul, French artist (b. 1895)
- May 4 – Moe Howard, American actor (The Three Stooges) (b. 1897)
- May 8 – Avery Brundage, American President of the International Olympic Committee (b. 1887)
- May 9 – Philip Dorn, Dutch actor (b. 1901)
- May 13 – Richard Hollingshead, American inventor of the drive-in theatre (b. 1900)
- May 18
- May 22
- May 23 – Moms Mabley, African-American comedian (b. 1894)
- May 25 – Count Dante, American martial artist (b. 1939)
- May 30
- June 3
- June 4 – Evelyn Brent, American actress (b. 1899)
- June 5 – Paul Keres, Estonian chess grandmaster (b. 1916)
- June 6 – Larry Blyden, American actor (b. 1925)
- June 14 – Pablo Antonio, Filipino modernist architect (b. 1902)
- June 18 – Hugo Bergmann, German and Israeli Jewish philosopher (b. 1883)
- June 26 – Josemaría Escrivá, Spanish priest and founder of Opus Dei (b. 1902)
- June 28 – Rod Serling, American television screenwriter (The Twilight Zone) (b. 1924)
- June 29 – Tim Buckley, American singer/songwriter (b. 1947)
- July 2 – James Robertson Justice, British actor (b. 1907)
- July 7 – Henri Deglane, French wrestler (b. 1902)
- July 15 – Charles Weidman, American choreographer and dancer (b. 1901)
- July 17 – Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public benefactor (b. 1893)
- July 18 – Vaughn Bode, American artist and psychedelic cartoonist (b. 1941)
- July 19
- July 21 – Billy West, American actor (b. 1892)
- July 29 – James Blish, American science fiction writer (b. 1921)
- August 9 – Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer (b. 1906)
- August 10 – Robert Barton, Irish politician and last surviving signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty (b. 1881)
- August 11 – Rachel Katznelson-Shazar, Zionist political figure and wife of third President of Israel (b. 1885)
- August 15 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founder of Bangladesh, former President & Prime Minister of Bangladesh (b. 1920)
- August 16 – Vladimir Kuts, Soviet runner (b. 1927)
- August 17 – Sig Arno, German actor (b. 1895)
- August 19
- August 23
- August 26 – Cullen Landis, American actor (b. 1895)
- August 27 – Haile Selassie I, former emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1892)
- August 28 – Fritz Wotruba, Austrian sculptor (b. 1907)
- August 29 – Éamon de Valera, 3rd President of Ireland (b. 1882)
- August 31 – Pierre Blaise, French actor (b. 1955)
- September 5 – Georg Ots, Estonian opera singer (b. 1920)
- September 9
- September 10 – George Paget Thomson, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
- September 16 – Irene Hayes, American Ziegfeld girl and businesswoman (b. 1896)
- September 19 – Pamela Brown, English actress (b. 1917)
- September 20 – Saint-John Perse, French diplomat and writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
- September 23 – Ian Hunter, British actor (b. 1900)
- September 24 – Earle Cabell, Texas politician (b. 1906)
- September 27
- September 29 – Casey Stengel, American baseball player and manager (b. 1890)
- October 4 – May Sutton, American tennis champion (b. 1886)
- October 10
- October 16 – Benjamin McCandlish, Governor of Guam (b. 1886)
- October 18 – Graham Haberfield, British actor (b. 1941)
- October 21 – Charles Reidpath, American athlete (b. 1889)
- October 22 – Arnold J. Toynbee, British historian (b. 1889)
- October 27 – Rex Stout, American author (b. 1886)
- October 28 – Georges Carpentier, French boxer (b. 1894)
- October 30
- Gustav Ludwig Hertz, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
- Martha Moxley, American Murder Victim (b. 1960) May have died on the 31st
- November 1 – Sinn Sisamouth, The highly prolific King of Khmer music is executed by the Khmer Rouge ending the Golden Age of the Cambodian music industry.(b. 1935)
- November 2 – Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italian film director (b. 1922)
- November 4 – Francis Dvornik, Czech historian (b. 1893)
- November 5
- November 13 – R. C. Sherriff, English writer (b. 1896)
- November 20
- November 27 – Ross McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records (b. 1925)
- November 29
- December 1
- December 4 – Hannah Arendt, German political theorist (b. 1906)
- December 7
- December 9 – William A. Wellman, American film director (b. 1896)
- December 10 – Andrew "Boy" Charlton, Australian Olympic swimmer (b. 1907)
- December 11 – Lee Wiley, American jazz singer (b. 1908)
- December 14 – Arthur Treacher, English actor (b. 1894)
- December 17 – Noble Sissle, American jazz composer (b. 1889)
- December 20 – William Lundigan, American actor (b. 1914)
- December 24 – Bernard Herrmann, American film composer (b. 1911)