|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1930s 1940s 1950s – 1960s – 1970s 1980s 1990s|
|Years:||1958 1959 1960 – 1961 – 1962 1963 1964|
|1961 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2714|
|British Regnal year||9 Eliz. 2 – 10 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 庚子年十一月十五日
— to —辛丑年十一月廿四日
|- Vikram Samvat||2017–2018|
|- Shaka Samvat||1883–1884|
|- Kali Yuga||5062–5063|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||961–962|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 36
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 50
|Thai solar calendar||2504|
Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. As MAD Magazine pointed out on its cover for the March 1961 issue, this was the first "upside-up" year—i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down—since 1881.
- January 3
- January 5
- January 7 – Following a 4-day conference in Casablanca, 5 African chiefs of state announce plans for a NATO-type African organization to ensure common defense. The Charter of Casablanca involves the Casablanca Group: Morocco, the United Arab Republic, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali.
- January 8 – In France, a referendum supports Charles de Gaulle's policies on independence for Algeria.
- January 9 – British authorities announce that they have discovered a large Soviet spy ring in London.
- January 17
- January 20 – John F. Kennedy succeeds Dwight Eisenhower as the 35th President of the United States of America.
- January 24 – B-52 Stratofortress, with two nuclear bombs, crashes near Goldsboro, North Carolina.
- January 25
- In Washington, DC President John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential news conference. In it, he announces that the Soviet Union has freed the 2 surviving crewmen of a USAF RB-47 reconnaissance plane shot down by Soviet flyers over the Barents Sea July 1, 1960 (see RB-47H shot down).
- Acting to halt 'leftist excesses,' a junta composed of 2 army officers and 4 civilians takes over El Salvador, ousting another junta that had ruled for 3 months.
- January 26 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician, the first woman to hold this appointment.
- January 30 – President John F. Kennedy delivers his first State of the Union Address.
- January 31 – Ham the Chimp, a 37-pound (17-kg) male, is rocketed into space aboard Mercury-Redstone 2, in a test of the Project Mercury capsule, designed to carry United States astronauts into space.
- February 1 – The United States launches its first test of the Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile.
- February 3 – China buys grain from Canada for $60 million.
- February 4 – The Portuguese Colonial War begins in Angola.
- February 5 – February 9 – In Congo, President Joseph Kasavubu names Joseph Iléo as the new Prime Minister.
- February 9 – The Beatles perform for the first time at the Cavern Club.
- February 12 – The U.S.S.R. launches Venera 1 towards Venus.
- February 13 – The Congo government announces that villagers have killed Patrice Lumumba.
- February 14 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized in Berkeley, California.
- February 15
- President Kennedy warns the Soviet Union to avoid interfering with the United Nations pacification of the Congo.
- A Sabena Boeing 707 crashes near Brussels, Belgium, killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team and several coaches.
- A total solar eclipse occurs in southern part of Europe
- February 25 – The last public trams in Sydney, Australia, cease operation, bringing to an end the Southern Hemisphere's largest tramway network.
- February 26 – Hassan II is pronounced King of Morocco.
- March–April – Drilling for Project Mohole is undertaken off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
- March 1 – President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
- March 3 – Hassan II is crowned King of Morocco.
- March 8
- Max Conrad circumnavigates the earth in 8 days, 18 hours and 49 minutes, setting a new world record.
- The first U.S. Polaris submarines arrive at Holy Loch.
- March 13
- Black and white £5 notes cease to be legal tender in the UK.
- A dam burst in Kiev, USSR, killing 145.
- United States delegate to the UNSC Adlai Stevenson votes against Portuguese policies in Africa.
- President of the United States John F. Kennedy proposes a long-term " Alliance for Progress" between the United States and Latin America.
- Cyprus joins the Commonwealth of Nations, becoming the first small country in the Commonwealth.
- Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, takes in its first students.
- March 15
- March 18
- A ceasefire takes effect in the Algerian War of Independence.
- Nous les amoureux by Jean-Claude Pascal (music by Jacques Datin, text by Maurice Vidalin) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1961 for Luxembourg.
- March 29 – The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.
- March 30 – The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.
- April 5 – The New Guinea Council of Western Papua is installed.
- April 8 – The British passenger ship Dara blows up and sinks off Dubai. 238 passengers and crew are killed.
- April 11 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.
- April 12
- Vostok 1: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space, orbiting the Earth once.
- Albert Kalonji takes the title Emperor Albert I Kalonji of South Kasai.
- April 13 – In Portugal, a coup attempt against António de Oliveira Salazar fails.
- April 17
- The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba begins; it fails by April 19.
- The 33rd Academy Awards ceremony is held.
- April 18 – Portugal sends to Angola its first military reinforcement.
- April 20 – Fidel Castro announces that the Bay of Pigs invasion has been defeated.
- April 22 – Algiers putsch: Four French generals who oppose de Gaulle's policies in Algeria fail in a coup attempt.
- April 23 – Judy Garland performs in a legendary comeback concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- April 24 – The Swedish ship Regalskeppet Vasa is removed from the water after being sunk 333 years earlier.
- April 27
- May 4 – U.S. Freedom Riders begin interstate bus rides to test the new U.S. Supreme Court integration decision.
- May 5 – Mercury program: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space aboard Mercury-Redstone 3.
- May 6 – Tottenham Hotspur F.C. becomes the first team in the 20th century to win the English league and cup double. This being the last time Tottenham won the English League.
- May 8 – Briton George Blake is sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for spying.
- May 14 – American civil rights movement: A Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob.
- May 15 – Heinrich Matthaei alone performs the Poly-U-Experiment and is the first human to recognize and understand the genetic code. This is the birthdate of modern genetics.
- May 16 – Park Chung Hee takes over in a military coup in South Korea.
- May 19 – Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (however, the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and does not send back any data).
- May 21 – American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
- May 22 – An Earthquake rocks New South Wales.
- May 24 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" after disembarking from their bus.
- May 25 – Apollo program: President Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.
- May 27 – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Prime Minister of Malaya, holds a press conference in Singapore, announcing his idea to form the Federation of Malaysia, comprising Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo ( Sabah).
- May 28 – Peter Benenson's article "The Forgotten Prisoners" is published in several internationally read newspapers. This is later considered the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
- May 30 – Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, totalitarian despot of the Dominican Republic since 1930, is killed in an ambush, putting an end to the second longest-running dictatorship in Latin American history.
- May 31
- June 1 – Ethiopia experiences its most devastating earthquake of the 20th century, with a magnitude of 6.7. The town of Majete is destroyed, 45% of the houses in Karakore collapse, 17 kilometers (11 mi) of the main road north of Karakore are damaged by landslides and fissures, and 5,000 inhabitants in the area are left homeless.
- June 4 – Vienna summit: John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev meet during 2 days in Vienna. They discuss nuclear tests, disarmament and Germany.
- June 16 – Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests asylum in France while in Paris with the Kirov Ballet.
- June 17
- A Paris-to- Strasbourg train derails near Vitry-le-François; 24 are killed, 109 injured.
- The New Democratic Party of Canada is founded with the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress.
- June 19 – The British protectorate ends in Kuwait and it becomes an emirate.
- June 22 – Moise Tshombe is released for lack of evidence of connection to the murder of Patrice Lumumba.
- June 23 – Antarctic Treaty comes into effect.
- June 25 – Iraqi president Abdul Karim Kassem announces he is going to annex Kuwait.
- June 27 – Kuwait requests British help; the United Kingdom sends in troops.
- July 4 – The Soviet submarine K-19 reactor leak occurs in the North Atlantic.
- July 5 – The first Israeli rocket, Shavit 2, is launched.
- July 8 – A mine explosion in Czechoslovakia leaves 108 dead.
- July 12 – A Czechoslovakian Ilyushin Il-18 crashes while attempting to land at Casablanca, Morocco, killing all 72 persons on board.
- July 21 – Mercury program: Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space (sub-orbital). Upon splashdown, the hatch prematurely opens, and the capsule sinks (it is recovered in 1999).
- July 25 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives a widely watched TV speech on the Berlin crisis, warning "we will not be driven out of Berlin." Kennedy urges Americans to build fallout shelters, setting off a four-month debate on civil defense.
- July 31
- At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs, when the game is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain (the only tie until 2002 in MLB All-Star Game history).
- Ireland submits the first ever application to join the then European Economic Community.
- August – USA founds Alliance for Progress.
- August 1 – The Six Flags over Texas theme park officially opens to the public.
- August 6 – Vostok 2: Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov becomes the second human to orbit the Earth, and the first to be in outer space for more than one day.
- August 7 – Vostok 2 with Titov onboard lands in Soviet Union.
- August 10 – Britain applies for membership in the European Economic Community.
- August 13 – Construction of the Berlin Wall begins, restricting movement between East Berlin and West Berlin and forming a clear boundary between West Germany and East Germany, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
- August 21 – Jomo Kenyatta is released from prison in Kenya.
- August 31 – Construction of the Berlin Wall is completed after just 18 days.
- September 1
- The Eritrean War of Independence officially begins with the shooting of the Ethiopian police by Hamid Idris Awate.
- First meeting held of the Non-Aligned Movement. The Soviet Union resumes nuclear testing, escalating fears over the ongoing Berlin crisis.
- September 7 – Tom and Jerry make a return with their first episode since 1957, Switchin' Kitten. The new creator, Gene Deitch makes 12 more Tom and Jerry episodes until 1962.
- September 10 – During the F1 Italian Grand Prix on the circuit of Monza, German Wolfgang Von Trips, driving a Ferrari, crashes into a stand, killing 14 spectators and himself.
- September 14
- The new military government of Turkey sentences 15 members of the previous government to death.
- The Focolare Movement opens its first North American centre in New York.
- September 17 – Military rulers in Turkey hang former prime minister Adnan Menderes.
- September 18 – UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in an air crash en route to Katanga, Congo.
- September 21 – In France, the OAS slips an anti- de Gaulle message into TV programming.
- September 24
- The old Deutsche Opernhaus in the Berlin neighbourhood of Charlottenburg is returned to its newly rebuilt house as the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
- In the U.S., the Walt Disney anthology television series, renamed Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Colour, moves from ABC to NBC after seven years on the air, and begins telecasting its programs in colour for the first time. Years later, after Disney's death, the still-on-the-air program will be renamed The Wonderful World of Disney.
- September 28 – A military coup in Damascus, Syria effectively ends the United Arab Republic, the union between Egypt and Syria.
- September 30 – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) formed to replace the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC).
- October 1 – Baseball player Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run in the last game of the season, against the Boston Red Sox, beating the 34-year-old record held by Babe Ruth.
- October 10 – A volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha causes the whole population to be evacuated.
- October 12 – The death penalty is abolished in New Zealand.
- October 17 – Paris massacre of 1961: French police in Paris attack about 30,000 protesting a curfew applied solely to Algerians. The official death toll is 3, but human rights groups claim 240 dead.
- October 18 – West Side Story is released as a film.
- October 19 – The Arab League takes over protecting Kuwait; the last British troops leave.
- October 25 – The first edition of Private Eye, the British satirical magazine, is published.
- October 26 – Cemal Gürsel becomes the fourth president of Turkey. (His former title was head of state and government. By constitution referendum, he is elected as president).
- October 27
- October 29
- DZBB-TV Channel 7, the Philippines' third TV station, is launched.
- Devrim has been released. Project completed only in 130 days almost from scratch and this period includes decision of the project, research, design, development and production of four cars.
- October 30
- October 31
- November 1
- The Hungry generation Movement is launched in Calcutta, India.
- The Interstate Commerce Commission's federal order banning segregation at all interstate public facilities officially comes into effect.
- The Madame Alexander Doll Club is founded by Margaret Doris Winson of Sweet Springs MO.
- November 2 – Kean opens at Broadway Theatre in New York City for 92 performances.
- November 3 – The UN General Assembly unanimously elects U Thant acting Secretary General.
- November 6 – The U.S. government issues a stamp honoring the 100th birthday of James Naismith.
- November 8 – Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 crashes while attempting to land at Richmond, Virginia, killing 77 persons on board.
- November 9 – Neil Armstrong records a world record speed in a rocket plane of 6,587 km/h flying a X-15.
- November 10 – Catch-22 is first published by Joseph Heller.
- November 11
- Congolese soldiers murder 13 Italian United Nations pilots.
- Stalingrad is renamed Volgograd.
- November 17 – Michael Rockefeller, son of New York Governor and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, disappears in the jungles of New Guinea.
- November 18 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.
- November 20
- The funeral of longtime House Speaker Sam Rayburn is held in Washington, DC. Two former Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower) and one future one (Lyndon B. Johnson) join President Kennedy in paying their respects.
- İsmet İnönü of CHP forms the new government of Turkey (26th government, first coalition in Turkey, partner AP)
- November 24 – World Food Program (WFP) formed as a temporary UN program.
- November 30 – The Soviet Union vetoes Kuwait's application for United Nations membership.
- December 1 – Netherlands New Guinea raises the new Morning Star flag and changes its name to West Papua.
- December 2 – Cold War: In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro announces he is a Marxist-Leninist, and that Cuba will adopt socialism.
- December 5 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives support to the Volta Dam project in Ghana.
- December 9
- Tanganyika gains independence and declares itself a republic, with Julius Nyerere as its first President.
- The Australian government of Robert Menzies is re-elected for a sixth term.
- December 10 – The Soviet Union severs diplomatic relations with Albania.
- December 11
- December 14 – Walt Disney's first live-action Technicolor musical, Babes in Toyland, a remake of the famous Victor Herbert operetta, is released, but flops at the box office.
- December 15 – An Israeli war crimes tribunal sentences Adolf Eichmann to die for his part in The Holocaust.
- December 17 – A circus tent fire in Niterói, Brazil kills 323.
- December 18 – India opens hostilities in its annexation of Portuguese India, the colonies of Goa, Damao and Diu.
- December 19
- December 21 – In Congo, Katangan prime minister Moise Tshombe recognizes the Congolese constitution.
- December 23 – Luxembourg's national holiday, the Grand Duke's Official Birthday, is set on June 23 by Grand Ducal decree.
- December 30 – Congolese troops capture Albert Kalonji of South Kasai (who soon escapes).
- December 31 – Ireland's first national television station, Telefís Éireann (later RTÉ), begins broadcasting.
- " Barbie" gets a boyfriend when the " Ken" doll is introduced.
- The Incredible Journey is published.
- January 1
- Sergei Babayan, American classical pianist
- Sam Backo, Australian rugby league footballer
- January 2
- Todd Haynes, American film director
- David Arias, Photojournalist
- January 5 – Iris DeMent, American singer-songwriter
- January 7 – Supriya Pathak,Indian actress
- January 8 – Calvin Smith, American athlete
- January 9 – Al Jean, American writer for "The Simpsons"
- January 11 – Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen (Károly), Archduke, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary
- January 13
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, American actress
- Suggs, British singer and TV presenter
- January 14 – Mike Tramp, Danish rock singer ( White Lion)
- January 16 – Peter Tanfield, Concert Violinist
- January 17 – Maia Chiburdanidze, Georgian chess player
- January 18
- January 22
- Daniel Johnston, American outsider musician
- Shigeru Nakahara, Japanese voice actor
- January 24
- Guido Buchwald, German football player
- Nastassja Kinski, German-born actress
- January 26 – Wayne Gretzky, Canadian hockey player
- January 28 – Arnaldur Indridason, Icelandic writer
- January 29 – Petra Thumer, German swimmer
- January 30 – Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- January 31 – Lloyd Cole, British singer and songwriter
- February 1 – Volker Fried, German field hockey player
- February 3 – Jim Balsillie, Canadian CEO and philanthropist
- February 8 – Vince Neil, American singer
- February 9
- John Kruk, American baseball player and commentator
- Jussi Lampi, Finnish musician and actor
- February 10 – George Stephanopoulos, American political consultant and commentator
- February 11 – Mary Docter, American speed skater
- February 13 – Henry Rollins, American musician and political activist
- February 14 – Latifa, Tunisian singer
- February 17 – Andrey Korotayev, Russian anthropologist, economic historian, and sociologist
- February 21
- Geoff Moore, American Christian musician
- Dwayne McDuffie, African-American writer of comics and television (d. 2011)
- February 22 – Akira Takasaki, Japanese guitarist
- February 25 – Davey Allison, American race car driver (d. 1993)
- February 27 – James Worthy, American basketball player and analyst
- February 28 – Mark Latham, Australian politician
- March 3
- John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer
- Mary Page Keller, American actress
- March 4
- Ray Mancini, American boxer
- Steven Weber, American actor
- Roger Wessels, South African golfer
- March 9
- Mike Leach, American college football coach
- Rick Steiner, American professional wrestler
- March 10
- Mike Bullard, American hockey player
- Laurel Clark, American astronaut (d. 2003)
- Mitch Gaylord, American gymnast
- March 14 – Gary Dell'Abate, American radio producer
- March 16 – Brett Kenny, Australian rugby league player
- March 17
- Umayya Abu-Hanna, Palestine-born Finnish writer and politician
- Sam Bowie, American basketball player
- Dana Reeve, American actress and activist (d. 2006)
- March 21 – Lothar Matthäus, German footballer
- March 23 – Helmi Johannes, Indonesian television newscaster
- March 25 – Reggie Fils-Aime, American businessman
- March 27 – Tak Matsumoto, Japanese guitarist ( B'z)
- March 28 – Byron Scott, American basketball player and coach
- March 29
- Amy Sedaris, American actress, comedian and writer
- Gerardo Teissonniere, Puerto Rican pianist
- April 1 – Susan Boyle, Scottish singer
- April 2 – Christopher Meloni, American actor
- April 3 – Eddie Murphy, American actor and comedian
- April 5 – Lisa Zane, American actress
- April 6 – Gene Eugene, Canadian actor and singer
- April 7 – Thurl Bailey, American basketball player
- April 12 – Lisa Gerrard, Australian musician
- April 14 – Neil Dougherty, American basketball coach (d. 2011)
- April 17
- Frank J. Christensen, American labor leader
- Daphna Kastner, Canadian actress
- April 18 – Jane Leeves, English actress
- April 20
- Don Mattingly, American baseball player
- Konstantin Lavronenko, Russian actor
- April 21 – Cathy Cavadini, American voice actress
- April 23 – George Lopez, American actor and comedian
- April 26 – Anthony Cumia, American radio personality
- April 27 – Moana Pozzi, Italian porn actress (d. 1994)
- April 28 – Futoshi Matsunaga, Japanese serial killer
- April 29 – Fumihiko Tachiki, Japanese voice actor
- April 30 – Isiah Thomas, American basketball player, coach, and team owner
- May 1 – Marilyn Milian, American judge
- May 2 – Steve James, English snooker player
- May 3 – Joe Murray, American animator
- May 4
- Mary Elizabeth McDonough, American actress, producer, director and author
- Jay Aston, British singer ( Bucks Fizz)
- May 5 – Hiroshi Hase, Japanese professional wrestler
- May 6 – George Clooney, American actor
- May 7 – Robert Spano, American conductor and pianist
- May 8
- Janet McTeer, British actress
- Akira Taue, Japanese professional wrestler
- May 9 – Rene Capo, American judoka (d. 2009)
- May 10 – Danny Carey, American drummer ( Tool, Pigmy Love Circus)
- May 11
- Paul Begala, American political commentator
- Lar Park Lincoln, American actress
- May 12 – Billy Duffy, British guitarist ( The Cult)
- May 13 – Dennis Rodman, American basketball player and actor
- May 14 – Tim Roth, English actor
- May 16
- Charles Wright, American professional wrestler
- Kevin McDonald, Canadian comedian and actor
- May 17 – Enya (Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin), Irish musician
- May 18 – Jim Bowden, American baseball executive
- May 20 – Clive Allen, British footballer
- May 22 – Mike Breen, American sports announcer
- May 23 – Karen Duffy, American actress
- May 27 – Peri Gilpin, American actress
- May 29 – Melissa Etheridge, American musician
- May 30 – Ralph Carter, American actor
- May 31
- Ray Cote, Canadian ice hockey player
- Justin Madden, Australian footballer and politician
- Lea Thompson, American actress
- June 1 – Paul Coffey, Canadian hockey player
- June 2 – Dez Cadena, American musician
- June 3
- Lawrence Lessig, American academic and political activist
- Ed Wynne, English musician ( Ozric Tentacles)
- June 4 – El DeBarge, American singer ( DeBarge)
- June 5
- Anthony Burger, American musician and singer (d. 2006)
- Rosie Kane, Member of Scottish Parliament
- June 6 – Tom Araya, Chilean-born rock musician ( Slayer)
- June 8 – Katy Garbi, Greek singer
- June 9 – Michael J. Fox, Canadian-American actor, producer, and author
- Aaron Sorkin, American screenwriter, producer, and playwright
- June 10
- Maxi Priest, British reggae singer
- Kim and Kelley Deal, American musicians
- June 14 – " Boy George", British musician and producer
- June 15 – Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
- June 17 – Koichi Yamadera, Japanese seiyu
- June 18 – Andrés Galarraga, Venezuelan baseball player
- June 20 – Karin Kania, German speed skater
- June 21 – Manu Chao, French singer
- June 23
- Zoran Janjetov, Serbian comic artist
- David Leavitt, American novelist
- June 24 – Lisa Bevill, American Christian musician
- June 25
- Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer
- Mike Breen, American broadcaster
- June 26 – Greg LeMond, American cyclist
- June 27 – Meera Syal, British-Indian comedienne and actress
- June 28 – Jeff Malone, American basketball player
- June 29 – Greg Hetson, American rock guitarist ( Bad Religion, Circle Jerks)
- July 1
- July 4 – Andrew Zimmern, American television personality ( Bizarre Foods)
- July 5 – Patrizia Scianca, Italian voice actress
- July 7 – Eric Jerome Dickey, American writer
- July 8 – Toby Keith, American country music singer
- July 10 – Jacky Cheung, Hong Kong singer and actor
- July 14 – Jackie Earle Haley, American actor
- July 17
- July 19
- Maria Filatova, Soviet gymnast
- Benoît Mariage, Belgian film director
- July 22 – Keith Sweat, American singer
- July 23 – Woody Harrelson, American actor and comedian
- July 25 – Hugo Teufel III, 2nd Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security
- July 26 – Keiko Matsui, Japanese pianist and composer
- July 30 – Laurence Fishburne, American actor
- August 3 – Nick Harvey, English politician
- August 4
- August 5 – Clayton Rohner, American actor
- August 7
- Brian Conley, English TV presenter, comedian, singer & actor
- Yelena Davydova, Soviet gymnast
- August 8
- Bruce Matthews, American football player
- The Edge (David Howell Evans), Irish rock guitarist (U2)
- Rikki Rockett, American rock drummer ( Poison)
- August 9 – John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
- August 11
- Sunil Shetty, Indian Bollywood film actor
- Jukka Tapanimäki, Finnish game programmer (d. 2000)
- August 14 – Susan Olsen, American actress and animal welfare advocate
- August 18
- Huw Edwards, BAFTA award-winning Welsh journalist and presenter
- Bob Woodruff, American television journalist
- August 21 – Stephen Hillenburg, American animation writer and artist
- August 22 – Andres Calamaro, Argentine musician
- August 25 – Billy Ray Cyrus, American singer and actor
- August 26 – Daniel Lévi, French singer-songwriter, composer and pianist
- August 29 – Carsten Fischer, German field hockey player
- September 1 – Cécilia Rhode, Miss Sweden
- September 2
- Anthony Wong Chau Sang, Hong Kong actor
- Carlos Valderrama, Colombian footballer
- September 4 – Felix Wong, Hong Kong Actor
- September 5 – Karim Abdul Razak, Ghanaian footballer
- September 6
- Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Norwegian rock musician and songwriter
- Akira Kuroiwa, Japanese speed skater
- September 7 – Kevin Kennedy, British actor
- September 11
- Elizabeth Daily, American actress
- Virginia Madsen, American actress
- September 12 – Mylène Farmer, Canadian singer and songwriter
- September 13 – Dave Mustaine, American metal singer, guitarist ( Megadeth)
- September 14 – Martina Gedeck, German actress
- September 15
- Dan Marino, American football player
- Lidia Yusupova, Chechen human-rights lawyer
- September 18 – James Gandolfini, American actor
- September 20 – Caroline Flint, British Politician and Labour MP for Don Valley
- September 22
- Bonnie Hunt, American actress, comedian, writer, director and television producer
- Catherine Oxenberg, British actress
- September 23 – William C. McCool, U.S. Army Commander and astronaut (d. 2003)
- September 25 – Heather Locklear, American actress
- September 26 – Edward Kennedy Jr, son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy
- September 27 – Andy Lau, Hong Kong actor and singer
- September 28 – Yordanka Donkova, Bulgarian athlete
- September 29 – Julia Gillard, Australian politician
- September 30
- Sally Yeh, Hong Kong singer and actress
- Eric Stoltz, American actor and director
- Crystal Bernard, American actress and singer
- October 1
- Gary Ablett, Australian rules footballer
- Robert Rey, Brazilian-American plastic surgeon and television personality
- Rico Constantino, American professional wrestler
- October 2 – Edmond Yu, Chinese student (d. 1997)
- October 4 – Philippe Russo, French singer
- October 5 – Matthew Kauffman, American journalist and George Polk Award winner
- October 6 – Mark Shasha, American artist, author, illustrator
- October 11
- Steve Young, American football player
- Amr Diab, Egyptian singer
- October 13 – Doc Rivers, American basketball player and coach
- October 16 – Randy Vasquez, American actor
- October 18
- Wynton Marsalis, American trumpeter and composer
- Rick Moody, American writer
- October 24 – Dave Meltzer, American wrestling journalist
- October 25
- Pat Sharp, British radio DJ and host
- Chad Smith, American musician
- October 26 – Dylan McDermott, American actor
- October 29 – Randy Jackson, American musician
- October 31
- Alonzo Babers, American runner
- Peter Jackson, New Zealand film director
- Larry Mullen, Jr., Irish rock drummer (U2)
- November 1 – Anne Donovan, American basketball player
- November 2 – k.d. lang, Canadian singer and songwriter
- November 4
- Daron Hagen, American composer
- Ralph Macchio, American actor
- Nigel Worthington, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
- November 5 – Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (d. 2001)
- November 9 – Jill Dando, British journalist and television presenter (d. 1999)
- November 12 – Nadia Comăneci, Romanian gymnast
- November 14
- Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Lithuanian writer (d. 2007)
- D. B. Sweeney, American actor
- November 18
- Anthony Warlow, Australian singer
- Jan Kuehnemund, American guitarist ( Vixen)
- November 19 – Meg Ryan, American actress
- November 20 – Dave Watson, English footballer
- November 22
- Mariel Hemingway, American actress
- Randal L. Schwartz, American computer programmer
- November 24 – Arundhati Roy, Indian writer and activist
- December 3 – Marcelo Fromer, Brazilian guitarist
- December 4
- Frank Reich, American football player
- Roy Dennis, disabled American boy (d. 1978)
- December 8 – Ann Coulter, American author, conservative commentator and attorney
- December 12
- Sarah Sutton, British actress
- Daniel O'Donnell, Irish singer
- December 13 – Karen Witter, American actress and model
- December 15 – Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist and politician
- December 16 – Bill Hicks, American comedian (d. 1994)
- December 19
- Matthew Waterhouse, British actor
- Eric Allin Cornell, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- Reggie White, American football player (d. 2004)
- December 20 – Mohammad Fouad, Arab singer and actor
- December 21 – Francis Ng, Hong Kong actor
- December 23 – Ezzat el Kamhawi, Egyptian novelist.
- December 24 – Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
- December 25 – Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian senator
- December 26 – John Lynch, Northern Irish actor
- December 29 – Jim Reid, Scottish musician
- December 30
- Douglas Coupland, Canadian author
- Sean Hannity, American radio/television host and conservative commentator
- Ben Johnson, Canadian athlete
- Matt Goldman, Blue Man Group founder
- Jaime Crespo, Mexican-American artist
- Paul Mason, Canadian canoeist
- Lefred Thouron, French cartoonist
- January 4 – Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
- January 9 – Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1867)
- January 10 – Dashiell Hammett, American writer (b. 1894)
- January 13 – Blanche Ring, American singer and actress (b. 1871)
- January 14 – Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (b. 1888)
- January 17 – Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (b. 1925)
- January 18 – Thomas Anthony Dooley III, physician (b. 1927)
- January 21 – Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
- January 24 – Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American swimmer and inventor (b. 1884)
- January 26 – Stan Nichols, English cricketer (b. 1900)
- January 29 – Jesse Wallace, American naval officer, 29th Governor of American Samoa (b. 1899)
- January 30 – Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (b. 1893)
- February 2 – Anna May Wong, Chinese-American actress (b. 1907)
- February 3 – Viscount Dunrossil, Australian governor-general (b. 1893)
- February 7 – William Duncan, American actor (b. 1879)
- February 12 – Richmond K. Turner, American admiral (b. 1885)
- February 15 – Laurence Owen, American Figure Skater (b. 1944)
- February 17 – Nita Naldi, American actress (b. 1897)
- February 20 – Percy Grainger, Australian composer (b. 1882)
- February 22 – Nick LaRocca, American jazz musician (b. 1889)
- February 26 – King Mohammed V of Morocco (b. 1909)
- March 3 – Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born pianist (b. 1887)
- March 6 – George Formby, British singer, comedian & actor (b. 1904)
- March 8
- March 12 – Belinda Lee, English actress (b. 1935)
- March 17 – Susanna M. Salter, first woman mayor in the United States (b. 1860)
- March 23 – Valentin Bondarenko, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1937)
- March 26 – Carlos Duarte Costa, founder of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (b. 1888)
- April 6 – Jules Bordet, Belgian immunologist and microbiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1870)
- April 7 – Vanessa Bell, English artist and interior designer (b. 1879)
- April 9 – Ahmet Zog, King of Albania (b. 1895)
- April 21 – James Melton, American tenor (b. 1904)
- April 24 – Lee Moran, American actor (b. 1888)
- April 25 – George Melford, American actor (b. 1877)
- April 27 – Roy Del Ruth, American film director (b. 1893)
- May 3 – Maurice Merleau-Ponty, French phenomenological philosopher (b. 1908)
- May 6 – Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet and philosopher (b. 1895)
- May 13 – Gary Cooper, American actor (High Noon) (b. 1901)
- May 14 – Albert Sévigny, Canadian politician (b. 1881)
- May 16 – George A. Malcolm, American jurist & educator (b. 1881)
- May 22 – Joan Davis, American actress (b. 1907)
- May 30 – Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic (b. 1891)
- May 31 – Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)
- June 2 – George S. Kaufman, American playwright (b. 1889)
- June 6 – Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist (b. 1875)
- June 14 – Eddie Polo, Austro-American dramatist (b. 1875)
- June 16 – Marcel Junod, Swiss physician (b. 1904)
- June 17
- June 24 – George Washington Vanderbilt III, American philanthropist (b. 1914)
- June 25 – John A D McCurdy, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia & pilot (b. 1886)
- June 30 – Lee DeForest, American inventor (b. 1873)
- July 1 – Louis-Ferdinand Céline, French writer (b. 1894)
- July 2 – Ernest Hemingway, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (suicide) (b. 1899)
- July 4 – Franklyn Farnum, American actor (b. 1878)
- July 6 – Woodall Rodgers, Mayor of Dallas, Texas (b. 1890)
- July 17 – Ty Cobb, American baseball player (b. 1886)
- July 23
- August 4 – Maurice Tourneur, French film director (b. 1873)
- August 8 – Mei Lanfang, Beijing opera star (b. 1894)
- August 9 – Walter Bedell Smith, American general and diplomat (b. 1895)
- August 14 – Clark Ashton Smith, American writer and sculptor (b. 1893)
- August 20 – Percy Williams Bridgman, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1882)
- August 26 – Gail Russell, American actress (b. 1924)
- August 30 – Charles Coburn, American actor (b. 1877)
- September 1 – Eero Saarinen, Finnish architect (b. 1910)
- September 10 – Leo Carrillo, American actor (b. 1880)
- September 11 – George Irving, American actor (b. 1874)
- September 17 – Adnan Menderes, Turkish prime minister (executed) (b. 1899)
- September 18 – Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1905)
- September 22 – Marion Davies, American actress (b. 1897)
- September 24 – Sumner Welles, American diplomat (b. 1892)
- September 25 – Frank Fay, American actor (b. 1897)
- September 26 – Juanita Hansen, American actress (b. 1895)
- October 1 – Donald Cook, American actor (b. 1901)
- October 4
- October 11 – Chico Marx, American comedian (b. 1887)
- October 13
- October 14 – Harriet Shaw Weaver, English political activist (b. 1876)
- October 19 – Şemsettin Günaltay, ex prime minister of Turkey (b. 1883)
- October 22 – Joseph Schenck, Russian-born film studio executive (b. 1878)
- November 1 – Mordecai Ham, American evangelist (b. 1877)
- November 2 – James Thurber, American humorist (b. 1894)
- November 15 – Elsie Ferguson, American actress (b. 1883)
- November 16 – Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1882)
- November 24 – Ruth Chatterton, American actress (b. 1893)
- November 30 – Anna Gould, American heiress and socialite, the daughter of financier Jay Gould (b. 1875)
- December 2 – Herbert Pitman, British sailor, third officer of the RMS Titanic (b. 1877)
- December 6 – Frantz Fanon, philosopher (b. 1925)
- December 13 – Anna Mary Robertson Moses aka Grandma Moses, painter (b. 1860)
- December 20
- December 23 – Kurt Meyer, German Waffen-SS officer (b. 1910)
- December 25 – Otto Loewi, German-born pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1873)
- December 28 – Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, second wife of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, was First Lady of the United States from 1915 to 1921.
- December 29 – Sibyl Morrison, first female barrister in New South Wales, Australia (b. 1895)
- Wyncie King, American illustrator