|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s – 1980s – 1990s 2000s 2010s|
|Years:||1985 1986 1987 – 1988 – 1989 1990 1991|
|1988 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2741|
|British Regnal year||36 Eliz. 2 – 37 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 丁卯年十一月十二日
— to —戊辰年十一月廿三日
|- Vikram Samvat||2044–2045|
|- Shaka Samvat||1910–1911|
|- Kali Yuga||5089–5090|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||988–989|
|Japanese calendar|| Shōwa 63
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 77
|Thai solar calendar||2531|
1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year that started on a Friday, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It is the 1988th year of the Common Era, or A.D.; the 988th year of the 2nd millennium; the 88th year of the 20th century; and the 9th year of the 1980s decade. In the 20th century, the year 1988 has the most Roman numeral digits (11).
- January 1
- The Soviet Union begins its program of economic restructuring ( perestroika) with legislation initiated by Premier Mikhail Gorbachev (though Gorbachev had begun minor restructuring in 1985).
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is established, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
- January 13 – Taiwan President Chiang Ching-kuo dies in Taipei; Vice-President Lee Teng-hui becomes president.
- January 15 – In Jerusalem, Israeli police and Palestinian protestors clash at the Dome of the Rock; several police and at least 70 Palestinians are injured.
- January 25 – U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush and CBS News anchor Dan Rather clash over Bush's role in the Iran-Contra scandal, during a contentious television interview.
- January 29 – The Midwest Classic Conference, a U.S. college athletic conference, is formed.
- February 3 – The Democratic-controlled United States House of Representatives rejects President Ronald Reagan's request for $36.25 million to support the Nicaraguan Contras.
- February 12 – Anthony M. Kennedy is appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 13– 28 – The 1988 Winter Olympics are held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
- February 17
- February 20 – The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast votes to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and join the Armenian SSR, triggering the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- February 24 – Hustler Magazine v. Falwell: The Supreme Court of the United States sides with Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.
- February 27 – February 29 – Sumgait pogrom: Pogrom of Armenians in Sumqayit.
- February 29 – A Nazi document implicates Kurt Waldheim in World War II deportations.
- March 7 – Operation Flavius: The Special Air Service fatally shoots 3 unarmed Provisional Irish Republican Army members in Gibraltar.
- March 8
- Two U.S. Army helicopters collide in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killing 17 servicemen.
- U.S. presidential candidate George Herbert Walker Bush defeats Robert Dole in numerous Republican primaries and caucuses on "Super Tuesday". The bipartisan primary/caucus calendar, designed by Democrats to help solidify their own nominee early, backfires when none of the 6 competing candidates are able to break out of the pack in the day's Democratic contests. Jesse Jackson, however, wins several Southern state primaries.
- March 13 – Gallaudet University, a Deaf university in Washington D.C. elects Dr. I King Jordan as the first deaf president in its history. This event is a turning point in the deaf civil rights movement.
- March 16
- The Halabja poison gas attack is carried out by Iraqi government forces.
- First RepublicBank of Texas fails and enters FDIC receivership, the largest FDIC assisted bank failure in history.
- Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
- Milltown Cemetery Attack: During the funeral of three Provisional IRA members in Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ulster Defence Association (UDA) member Michael Stone attacked the crowd with grenades and pistols, killing three and wounding over sixty. They were murdered because they were likely to be Catholics.
- March 17
- A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into the side of the mountains near the Venezuelan border, killing 143.
- Eritrean War of Independence – Battle of Afabet: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on 3 sides by military units of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF).
- March 19 – Corporals killings: In Belfast, Northern Ireland, British Army Corporals Woods and Howes were murdered after driving straight into a funeral for the victims of the Milltown Cemetery Attack just three days earlier, after they were mistakenly thought to be carrying out a similar attack to the one by Ulster Defence Association (UDA) member Michael Stone, in which he killed three Catholics attending the funeral.
- March 20 – Eritrean War of Independence: Having defeated the Nadew Command, the EPLF enters the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet.
- March 24 – An Israeli court sentences Mordechai Vanunu to 18 years in prison for disclosing Israel's nuclear program to The Sunday Times.
- March 25 – The Candle Demonstration in Bratislava, Slovakia is the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
- March 26 – U.S. presidential candidate Jesse Jackson defeats Michael Dukakis in the Michigan Democratic caucuses, becoming the temporary front-runner for the party's nomination. Richard Gephardt withdraws his candidacy after his campaign speeches against imported automobiles fail to earn him much support in Detroit.
- March 29 – African National Congress representative Dulcie September is assassinated in Paris.
- April 4 – Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona is convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office.
- April 5 – Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis wins the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary.
- April 10
- The comic strip FoxTrot makes its first appearance in US newspapers.
- The Ojhri Camp Disaster occurs in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
- The Great Seto Bridge opens to traffic in Japan.
- April 11 – The Last Emperor (directed by Bernardo Bertolucci) wins nine Oscars.
- April 12 – Former pop singer Sonny Bono is elected mayor of Palm Springs, California.
- April 14
- April 16
- April 18 – The United States Navy retaliates for the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) mining with Operation Praying Mantis, in a day of strikes against Iranian oil platforms and naval vessels.
- April 22 – Start of the Ouvéa cave hostage taking in Ouvéa, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.
- April 25 – In Israel, Ivan Demjanjuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II. He was accused by survivors of being the notorious guard at the Treblinka extermination camp known as "Ivan the Terrible". The conviction is later overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court.
- April 28 – Aloha Flight 243 loses several yards of its upper fuselage while in flight, killing 1 person.
- April 30
- May 4 – PEPCON disaster in Henderson, Nevada: A major explosion at an industrial solid-fuel rocket plant causes damage extending up to 10 miles (16 km) away, including Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport.
- May 5 – End of the Ouvéa cave hostage taking in Ouvéa, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.
- May 14 – Bus collision near Carrollton, Kentucky: A drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 71, hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group from Radcliff, Kentucky. The resulting fire kills 27, making it tied for 1st in the U.S. for most fatalities involving 2 vehicles to the present day. Coincidentally, the other 2-vehicle accident involving a bus that also killed 27 occurred in Prestonburg, Kentucky on February 28, 1958.
- May 15 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than 8 years of fighting, the Soviet Army begins withdrawing from Afghanistan.
- May 16
- A report by U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.
- California v. Greenwood: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that police officers do not need a search warrant to search through discarded garbage.
- May 24 – Section 28 (outlawing promotion of homosexuality in schools) is passed as law by Parliament in the United Kingdom.
- May 27 – Microsoft releases Windows 2.1
- May 31 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses 600 Moscow State University students, during his visit to the Soviet Union.
- June 5 – The first National Cancer Survivors Day is held.
- June 6 – Elizabeth II strips jockey Lester Piggott of his OBE, following his jailing for tax irregularities.
- June 10 – Spontaneous 100,000 strong mass night-singing demonstrations in Estonia, that eventually give name to the Singing Revolution.
- June 11
- The name of the General Public License ( GPL) is mentioned for the first time.
- Wembley Stadium hosts a concert featuring stars from the fields of music, comedy and film, in celebration of the 70th birthday of imprisoned ANC leader Nelson Mandela.
- June 14 – A small wildfire starts in Montana just north of the boundary for Yellowstone National Park. The Storm Creek fire expands into the park, then merges with dozens of other drought-inspired fires. Eventually, over 750,000 acres (3,000 km2) of Yellowstone – 36% of the park's area – burns before firefighters gain control in late September.
- June 23 – NASA scientist James Hansen testifies to the Senate that man-made global warming had begun.
- June 25 – The Netherlands defeats the Soviet Union 2–0 to win Euro 88.
- June 26 – Air France Flight 296 crashes into the tops of trees beyond the runway on a demonstration flight at Habsheim, France; three passengers are killed.
- June 27 – The Gare de Lyon rail accident occurred in Paris, France as a commuter train headed inbound to the terminal crashed into a stationary outbound train, killing 56 and injuring 57.
- June 28 – Four workers are exposed to poisonous gas at a metal-plating plant in Auburn, Indiana, in the worst confined-space industrial accident in U.S. history. (A fifth victim dies two days later).
- June 29 – Morrison v. Olson: The United States Supreme Court upholds the law allowing special prosecutors to investigate suspected crimes by executive branch officials.
- June 30 – Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrates four bishops at Écône, Switzerland for his apostolate, along with Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, without a papal mandate.
- July 3
- July 6
- The Piper Alpha production platform in the North Sea is destroyed by explosions and fires, killing 165 oil workers and 2 rescue mariners.
- The first reported medical waste on beaches in the Greater New York area (including hypodermic needles and syringes possibly infected with the AIDS virus) washes ashore on Long Island. Subsequent medical waste discoveries on beaches in Coney Island, Brooklyn and in Monmouth County, New Jersey force the closure of numerous New York–area beaches in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record in the American Northeast.
- July 14 – Volkswagen closes its Westmoreland Assembly Plant after 10 years of operation (the first factory built by a non-American automaker in the U.S.).
- July 20 – The Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia nominates Michael Dukakis for U.S. President and Lloyd Bentsen for Vice President.
- July 31 – Thirty-two people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia.
- August 5
- August 6– August 7 – Tompkins Square Park Police Riot in New York City: A riot erupts in Tompkins Square Park when police attempt to enforce a newly passed curfew for the park. Bystanders, artists, residents, homeless people and political activists are caught up in the police action that takes place during the night of August 6 and into the early morning of August 7.
- August 8 – 8888 Uprising: Thousands of protesters in Burma, now known as Myanmar, are killed during anti-government demonstrations.
- August 14 – Enzo Ferrari, founder of the Italian automobile manufacturer Ferrari, dies at the age of 90, after a long illness.
- August 17 – Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, are killed in a plane crash near Bhawalpur.
- August 18 – The Republican National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana nominates George H.W. Bush for President and Dan Quayle for Vice President of the United States of America.
- August 19 – A truce begins in the Iran–Iraq War.
- August 20 – The Iran–Iraq War ends, with an estimated one million lives lost.
- August 21 – Major earthquake of magnitude 6.6 hits the Nepal-India Border. Estimated 1,004 people killed and more than 16,000 injured
- August 25 – A fire destroys part of Chiado quarter, in Lisbon's historical centre.
- August 26 – Mehran Karimi Nasseri, "The terminal man", is stuck in the De Gaulle Airport in Paris, where he will continue to reside until August 1, 2006.
- August 28 – Seventy-five people are killed and 346 injured in one of the worst airshow disasters in history at Germany's Ramstein Air Base, when three jets from the Italian air demonstration team, Frecce Tricolori, collide, sending one of the aircraft crashing into the crowd of spectators.
- September 5 – With US$2 billion in federal aid, the Robert M. Bass Group agrees to buy the United States' largest thrift, American Savings and Loan Association.
- September 11 – In Estonia, 300,000 demonstrate for independence.
- September 12 – Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica; it turns towards Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula 2 days later, causing an estimated $5 billion in damage.
- September 16 – Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds pitches the 12th perfect game in baseball history against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium.
- September 17– October 2 – The 1988 Summer Olympics are held in Seoul, South Korea.
- September 22 – The Ocean Odyssey drilling rig suffers a blowout and fire in the North Sea (see also July 6).
- September 24– September 26 – Large, militant protests against the 1988 World Bank and IMF meetings take place in West Berlin.
- September 29 – STS-26: NASA resumes space shuttle flights, grounded after the Challenger disaster, with Space Shuttle Discovery.
- October 5
- Thousands riot in Algiers, Algeria against the National Liberation Front government; by October 10 the army has killed and tortured about 500 people in crushing the riots.
- Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet loses a national plebiscite on his rule; relinquishes power in 1990.
- In Omaha, Nebraska, in the only vice presidential debate of the 1988 U.S. presidential election, the Republican vice presidential nominee, Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana, insists he has as much experience in government as John F. Kennedy did when he sought the presidency in 1960. His Democratic opponent, Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, replies, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
- October 7 – War of the Worlds premieres in syndication.
- October 9 – The 1985-88 Rugby League World Cup culminates in Australia's 25–12 victory over New Zealand at Auckland's Eden Park before 47,363 spectators.
- October 12
- October 13 – In the second U.S. presidential debate, held by U.C.L.A., the Democratic party nominee, Michael Dukakis, is asked by journalist Bernard Shaw of CNN if he would support the death penalty if his wife, Kitty, were to be raped and murdered. Gov. Dukakis' reply, voicing his opposition to capital punishment in any and all circumstances, is later said to have been a major reason for the eventual failure of his campaign for the White House.
- October 19 – The United Kingdom bans broadcast interviews with IRA members. The BBC gets around this stricture through the use of professional actors.
- October 27 – Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.
- October 28 – Abortion: 48 hours after announcing it was abandoning RU-486, French manufacturer Roussel Uclaf states that it will resume distribution of the drug.
- October 29 – Pakistan's General Rahimuddin Khan resigns from his post as the governor of Sindh, following attempts by the President of Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, to limit the vast powers Gen. Rahimuddin had accumulated.
- October 30
- November 1 – In the Israeli election, Likud wins 47 seats, Labour wins 49, but Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir remains in office.
- November 2 – The Morris worm, the first computer worm distributed via the Internet, written by Robert Tappan Morris, is launched from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.
- November 3– November 5 – Thousands of South Korean students demonstrate against former president Chun Doo Hwan.
- November 3 – Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries try to overthrow the Maldivian government. At President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's request, the Indian military suppresses the coup attempt within 24 hours.
- November 8 – United States presidential election, 1988: George H. W. Bush is elected over Michael Dukakis becoming the first sitting Vice President of the United States in 200 years to be elected as President of the United States.
- November 11 – In Sacramento, California, police find a body buried in the lawn of 60-year-old boardinghouse landlady Dorothea Puente (7 bodies are eventually found and Puente is convicted of 3 murders and sentenced to life in prison).
- November 13 – Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian law student in Portland, Oregon is beaten to death by members of the Neo-Nazi group East Side White Pride.
- November 15
- In the Soviet Union, the unmanned Shuttle Buran is launched by an Energia rocket on its maiden orbital spaceflight (the first and last space flight for the shuttle).
- Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An independent State of Palestine is proclaimed at the Palestinian National Council meeting in Algiers, by a vote of 253–46.
- The very first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, is launched by Nico Roozen, Frans van der Hoff and ecumenical development agency Solidaridad in the Netherlands.
- November 16
- The Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR adopts the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in which the laws of the Estonian SSR are declared supreme over those of the USSR.
- In the first open election in more than a decade, voters in Pakistan choose populist candidate Benazir Bhutto to be Prime Minister. Elections are held as planned despite head of state Zia-ul-Haq's death earlier in August.
- November 18 – War on Drugs: U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill providing the death penalty for murderous drug traffickers.
- November 21
- Canadian federal election, 1988: Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada win a second majority government.
- Ted Turner officially buys Jim Crockett Promotions, known as NWA Crockett, and turns it into World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
- November 22 – In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed.
- November 23 – Former Korean president Chun Doo Hwan publicly apologizes for corruption during his presidency, announcing he will go into exile.
- November 24 – The popular American cult television comedy Mystery Science Theatre 3000 makes its debut on KTMA.
- November 30 – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. buys RJR Nabisco for US$25.07 billion in the biggest leveraged buyout deal of all time.
- December 1 – Carlos Salinas de Gortari takes office as President of Mexico.
- December 2
- December 7
- December 8 – Famous vocalist Roy Orbison dies of a heart attack
- December 9 – The last Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant roll off the assembly line in a Chrysler factory.
- December 12 – The Clapham Junction rail crash kills 35 and injures 132.
- December 16 – Perennial U.S. presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche is convicted of mail fraud.
- December 20 – The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
- December 21 – Pan Am Flight 103 is blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing a total of 270 people. Those responsible are believed to be Libyans.
- December 22 – Brazilian union and environmental activist Chico Mendes is assassinated.
- TAT-8, the first transatlantic telephone cable to use optical fibers, is completed.
- Zebra mussels are found in the Great Lakes.
- The U.S. Drought of 1988 causes big crop damage in many states, impacts many portions of the United States and causes around $60 billion in damage. Multiple regions suffer in the conditions. Heat waves cause 4,800 to 17,000 excess deaths while scorching many areas of the United States during 1988.
- The Russian Mafia begins to expand with the decay of the Soviet Union.
- January 1 – Margot Bryant, British actress (b. 1897)
- January 2 – Edmund Brisco Ford, British geneticist (b. 1901)
- January 5 – Pete Maravich, American basketball player (b. 1947)
- January 6 – L. P. Davies, English novelist (b. 1914)
- January 7 – Trevor Howard, British actor (b. 1913)
- January 11 – Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, American pilot, United States Marine Corps fighter ace (b. 1912)
- January 12 – Hiram Bingham IV, American diplomat (b. 1903)
- January 13 – Chiang Ching-kuo, Chinese politician, 3rd President of the Republic of China (b. 1910)
- January 14 – Georgy Malenkov, Soviet politician, 5th Prime Minister of the Soviet Union (b. 1902)
- January 15 – Seán MacBride, Irish Republican Army leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1904)
- January 16 – Ballard Berkeley, British actor (b. 1904)
- January 20 – Philippe de Rothschild, French vineyard owner (b. 1902)
- January 22 – Parker Fennelly, American comedian and actor (b. 1891)
- January 25 – Colleen Moore, American actress (b. 1900)
- January 28 – Klaus Fuchs, German-British physicist and spy (b. 1911)
- February 1 – Heather O'Rourke, American actress (b. 1975)
- February 3 – Robert Duncan, American poet (b. 1919)
- February 5 – Emeric Pressburger, Hungarian-British film producer (b. 1902)
- February 11 – Marion Crawford, Scottish nanny of Elizabeth II (b. 1909)
- February 13
- February 14 – Frederick Loewe, Austrian-American composer (b. 1901)
- February 15 – Richard Feynman, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- February 16 - Karp Osipovich Lykov, Russian Old Believer and survivalist
- February 19
- February 25 – Kurt Mahler, German-Australian mathematician (b. 1903)
- March 1 – Joe Besser, American actor and comedian (b. 1907)
- March 3 – Lois Wilson, American actress (b. 1894)
- March 5 – Alberto Olmedo, Argentine comedian and actor (b. 1933)
- March 7
- March 8
- March 9 – Kurt Georg Kiesinger, German politician, 3rd Chancellor of Germany (b. 1904)
- March 10
- March 13
- March 16 – Erich Probst, Austrian football player (b. 1927)
- March 20
- March 22 – Lester Rawlins, American stage and screen director (b. 1924)
- March 25 – Robert Joffrey, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1930)
- March 31 – Sir William McMahon, twentieth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1908)
- April 1 – Jim Jordan, American actor (b. 1896)
- April 3 – Milton Caniff, American cartoonist (b. 1907)
- April 6 – John Clements, British actor (b. 1910)
- April 11
- April 12
- April 15 – Kenneth Williams, British actor and raconteur (b. 1926)
- April 17
- April 18 – Pierre Desproges, French humorist (b. 1939)
- April 21 – I. A. L. Diamond, American screenwriter (b. 1920)
- April 22 – Irene Rich, American actress (b. 1891)
- April 23 – Michael Ramsey, British bishop, 100th Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1904)
- April 26
- April 27 – David Scarboro, British actor (b. 1968)
- May 3 – Lev Semenovich Pontryagin, Russian mathematician (b. 1908)
- May 5 – George Rose, English actor (b. 1920)
- May 8 – Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction author (b. 1907)
- May 10
- May 11 – Kim Philby, British spy (b. 1912)
- May 12 – Chet Baker, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1929)
- May 14 – Willem Drees, Dutch politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1948 until 1958 (b. 1886)
- May 15
- May 16 – Charles Keeping, British illustrator (b. 1924)
- May 18 – Daws Butler, voice actor (b. 1916)
- May 21 – Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer (b. 1900)
- May 23 – Aya Kitō, Japanese Writer (b. 1962)
- May 25 – Ernst Ruska, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
- May 27 – Florida Friebus, American actor (b. 1909)
- May 30 – Ella Raines, American actress (b. 1920)
- May 31 – Arthur Olliver, Australian footballer (b. 1918)
- June 8 – Eli Mintz, American actor (b. 1904)
- June 10 – Louis L'Amour, American writer (b. 1908)
- June 11 – Giuseppe Saragat, former President of Italy (b. 1898)
- June 16 – Kim Milford, American actor and singer (b. 1951)
- June 18 – Wilford Leach, American theatre director (b. 1929)
- June 22 – Dennis Day, Irish-American singer and radio and television personality (b. 1916)
- June 25 – Hillel Slovak, Israeli-American guitarist ( Red Hot Chili Peppers) (b. 1962)
- July 3 – Gabriel Dell, American actor (b. 1919)
- July 4 – Adrian Adonis, American wrestler (b. 1954)
- July 8 – Ray Barbuti, American athlete (b. 1905)
- July 12 – Joshua Logan, American stage and film director (b. 1908)
- July 17 – Bruiser Brody, American professional wrestler (b. 1946)
- July 18 – Nico, singer-songwriter, fashion model, actress and Warhol socialite (b. 1938)
- July 21 – Jack Clark, American television personality and game show host (b. 1921)
- July 25 – Judith Barsi, American child actress (b. 1978)
- July 27 – Frank Zamboni, American inventor (b. 1901)
- July 31 – Trinidad Silva, American actor (b. 1950)
- August 1 – Florence Eldridge, American actress (b. 1901)
- August 2 – Raymond Carver, American short-story writer & poet (b. 1938)
- August 5
- August 8
- August 9
- August 10 – Adela Rogers St. Johns, American journalist and screenwriter (b. 1893)
- August 11 – Anne Ramsey, American actress (b. 1929)
- August 12 – Jean-Michel Basquiat, American musician/graffiti painter (b. 1960)
- August 14
- August 17
- August 21 – Ray Eames, American artist, designer, and filmmaker (b. 1912)
- August 24 – Leonard Frey, American actor (b. 1938)
- August 27
- August 28
- September 1 – Luis Walter Alvarez, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)
- September 5 – Gert Fröbe, German actor (b. 1913)
- September 6 – Harold Rosson, American cinematographer (b. 1895)
- September 12 – Roger Hargreaves, English author (b. 1935)
- September 16 – Dick Pym, English footballer (b. 1893)
- September 18 – Mohammad-Hossein Shahriar, Iranian Azari poet (b. 1906)
- September 20 – Roy Kinnear, British actor (b. 1934)
- September 21
- September 28
- September 30 – Truong Chinh, former President of Vietnam (b. 1907)
- October 1
- October 2 – Alec Issigonis, Greek-British engineer (b. 1906)
- October 7 – Billy Daniels, American singer (b. 1915)
- October 9 – Jackie Milburn, English footballer (b. 1924)
- October 11
- October 12
- October 13 – Melvin Frank, American screenwriter and director (b. 1913)
- October 15 – Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, English composer and pianist (b. 1892)
- October 18 – Frederick Ashton, English dancer and choreographer (b. 1904)
- October 19 – Son House, American musician (b. 1902)
- October 22 – Henry Armstrong, American boxer (b. 1912)
- October 27 – Charles Hawtrey, English actor (b. 1914)
- October 31 – John Houseman, Romanian-American actor and producer (b. 1902)
- November 1 – George J. Folsey, American cinematographer (b. 1898)
- November 7 – Sy Mah, Canadian marathoner (b. 1926)
- November 9
- November 11 – William Ifor Jones, Welsh conductor & organist (b. 1900)
- November 12
- November 13 – Antal Dorati, Hungarian conductor (b. 1906)
- November 14 – Takeo Miki, Japanese politician, 41st Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1909)
- November 15 – Mona Washbourne, British actress (b. 1903)
- November 17 – Sheilah Graham, English-born gossip columnist (b. 1904)
- November 19 – Christina Onassis, American shipping magnate (b. 1950)
- November 21 – Carl Hubbell, American baseball player (b. 1903)
- November 22 – Luis Barragán, Mexican architect (b. 1902)
- November 27 – John Carradine, American actor (b. 1906)
- December 2 – Tata Giacobetti, Italian singer and lyricist ( Quartetto Cetra) (b. 1922)
- December 4 – Osman Achmatowicz, Polish chemist (b. 1899)
- December 6
- December 10 – Richard S. Castellano, American actor (b. 1933)
- December 16 – Sylvester James, American R&B singer, disco performer (b. 1948)
- December 17 – Jerry Hopper, American film and television director (b. 1907)
- December 20 – Max Robinson, American broadcast journalist, and ABC News World News Tonight co-anchor (b. 1939)
- December 21
- December 22 – Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, Brazilian environmental activist (b. 1944)
- December 26
- December 27
- December 30 – Isamu Noguchi, Japanese-American artist (b. 1904)
- Physics – Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, Jack Steinberger
- Chemistry – Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber, Hartmut Michel
- Medicine – Sir James W. Black, Gertrude B. Elion, George H. Hitchings
- Literature – Naguib Mahfouz
- Peace – The United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces.
- The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – Maurice Allais
Right Livelihood Award
- International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims / Inge Kemp Genefke M.D.
- José Lutzenberger
- John F. Charlewood Turner
- Sahabat Alam Malaysia / Mohamed Idris, Harrison Ngau Laing, the Penan people.