|1947 by topic|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2700|
|Balinese saka calendar||1868–1869|
|British Regnal year||11 Geo. 6 – 12 Geo. 6|
|Chinese calendar||丙戌年 (Fire Dog)|
4643 or 4583
— to —
丁亥年 (Fire Pig)
4644 or 4584
|- Vikram Samvat||2003–2004|
|- Shaka Samvat||1868–1869|
|- Kali Yuga||5047–5048|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 22|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 36|
|Thai solar calendar||2490|
2073 or 1692 or 920
— to —
2074 or 1693 or 921
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1947.|
1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1947th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 947th year of the 2nd millennium, the 47th year of the 20th century, and the 8th year of the 1940s decade.
- January–February – Winter of 1946–47 in the United Kingdom: The worst snowfall in the country in the 20th century causes extensive disruption of travel. Given the low ratio of private vehicle ownership at the time, this is mainly remembered in terms of the effects on the railway networks.
- January 1
- January 3 – Proceedings of the United States Congress are televised for the first time.
- January 4 – First issue of weekly magazine Der Spiegel published in Hanover, Germany, edited by Rudolf Augstein.
- January 10 – The United Nations takes control of the free city of Trieste.
- January 15 – Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actress nicknamed the "Black Dahlia", is found brutally murdered in a vacant lot in Los Angeles; the case is never solved.
- January 16 – Vincent Auriol is inaugurated as president of France.
- January 19 – Ferry SS Heimara sinks in the South Euboean Gulf of Greece killing 392.
- January 24 – Dimitrios Maximos founds a monarchist government in Athens.
- January 25 – A Philippine plane crashes in Hong Kong, with $5 million worth of gold and money.
- January 26 – A KLM Douglas DC-3 aircraft crashes soon after taking off from Kastrup Airport, Copenhagen, killing all on board, including Prince Gustaf Adolf, second in line to the Swedish throne, and American singer Grace Moore.
- January 30–February 8 – A heavy blizzard in Canada buries towns, from Winnipeg to Calgary.
- January 31 – The Communists take power in the Polish People's Republic.
- February 3
- February 5
- February 7 – The South Pacific Commission (SPC) is founded.
- February 8 – The Karlslust dance hall fire in Berlin, Germany, kills over 80 people.
- February 10 – In Paris, France, peace treaties are signed between the World War II Allies and Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Finland. Italy cedes most of Istria to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Croatia).
- February 12
- A meteor creates an impact crater in Sikhote-Alin, in the Soviet Union.
- Christian Dior introduces The "New Look" in women's fashion, in Paris.
- In Burma, the Panglong Agreement is reached between the Burmese government under its leader, General Aung San, and the Shan, Kachin, and Chin ethnic peoples at the Panglong Conference. U Aung Zan Wai, Pe Khin, Major Aung, Sir Maung Gyi, Dr. Sein Mya Maung and Myoma U Than Kywe are among the negotiators.
- February 17 – Cold War: The Voice of America begins to transmit radio broadcasts into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
- February 20
- An explosion at the O'Connor Electro-Plating Company in Los Angeles leaves 17 dead, 100 buildings damaged, and a 22-foot-deep (6.7 m) crater in the ground.
- The U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hermes program V-2 rocket Blossom I is launched into space, carrying plant material and fruitflies, the first living things to enter space.
- February 21 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", his Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
- February 22 – The Tom and Jerry cartoon Cat Fishin', is released.
- February 23 – The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is founded.
- February 25
- The German state of Prussia is officially abolished, by the Allied Control Council.
- Hachikō Line derailment: The worst-ever train accident in Japan kills 184 people.
- John C. Hennessy, Jr. brings the first Volkswagen Beetle to the United States. He purchased the 1946 automobile from the U.S. Army Post Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, while serving in the U.S. Army. The Beetle is shipped from Bremerhaven, arriving in New York this day.
- February 28
- March 1
- March 4 – The Treaty of Dunkirk (effective September 8) is signed between the United Kingdom and France, providing for mutual assistance in the event of attack.
- March 12 – The Truman Doctrine is proclaimed, to help stem the spread of Communism.
- March 14 – The Thames flood and other widespread flooding occurs, as the exceptionally harsh British winter of 1946–1947 ends in a thaw.
- March 15 – Hindus and Muslims clash in Punjab.
- March 19 – The 19th Academy Awards Ceremony is held. The movie The Best Years of Our Lives wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with several other Academy Awards.
- March 25 – A coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois; 111 miners are killed.
- March 28 – A World War II Japanese booby trap explodes on Corregidor Island, killing 28 people.
- March 29 – A rebellion against French rule erupts in Madagascar.
- March 31 – The leaders of the Kurdish People's Republic of Mahabad, the second Kurdish state in the history of Iran, are hanged at Chuwarchira Square in Mahabad, after the state has been overrun by the Iranian army.
- April – The previous discovery of the 'Dead Sea Scrolls' in the Qumran Caves (above the northwest shore of the Dead Sea) by Bedouin shepherds, becomes known.
- April 1
- April 4 – The International Civil Aviation Organization begins operations.
- April 7
- April 9
- April 15 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to play Major League Baseball since the 1880s.
- April 16
- Texas City disaster: The ammonium nitrate cargo of French-registered Liberty ship SS Grandcamp explodes in Texas City, Texas in one of the largest man-made non-nuclear explosions in history, killing at least 581, including all but one member of the city fire department, injuring at least 5,000 and destroying 20 city blocks. Of the dead, remains of 113 are never found, and 62 are unidentifiable.
- American financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch describes the post–World War II tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States as a "Cold War".
- April 18
- The British Royal Navy detonates 6,800 tons of explosives, in an attempt to demolish the fortified island of Heligoland, Germany, in another of the largest man-made non-nuclear explosions in history.
- 'Mrs. Ples', an Australopithecus africanus skull, is discovered in the Sterkfontein area in Transvaal, South Africa.
- April 20 – King Frederik IX of Denmark succeeds his father King Christian X, on the throne of Kingdom of Denmark.
- April 26 – Academy-Award-winning Tom and Jerry cartoon, The Cat Concerto, is released to theatres.
- May 1 – Portella della Ginestra massacre: The Salvatore Giuliano gang of Sicilian separatists opens fire on a Labour Day parade at Portella della Ginestra, Sicily, killing 11 people and wounding 27.
- May 2 – The movie Miracle on 34th Street, a Christmastime classic, is first shown in theaters.
- May 3 – The new post-war Constitution of Japan goes into effect.
- May 11 – The Ferrari 125 S, the first car to bear the Ferrari name, debuts.
- May 12 – The animated cartoon film Rabbit Transit, directed by Friz Freleng, is released.
- May 22
- The Cold War begins: In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, President Harry S. Truman signs an Act of Congress that implements the Truman Doctrine. This Act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece. The Cold War ends in 1991.
- David Lean's film Great Expectations, based on the novel by Charles Dickens, opens in the United States. Critics call it the finest film ever made from a Charles Dickens novel.
- May 25 – Hyundai Togun, the initial name of the Hyundai Group, is founded by Chung Ju-young.
- May 29
- An Air Iceland Douglas C-47 on a domestic flight in Iceland crashes into a mountainside killing all 25 people on board.
- A United States Army Air Forces Douglas C-54 Skymaster crashes on approach to Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan, killing all 41 on board in the worst aviation accident in Japanese history up to this time.
- Douglas DC-4 Mainliner Lake Tahoe, operating as United Airlines Flight 521, fails to become airborne while attempting to take off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City, runs off the end of the runway, and slams into an embankment, killing 42 of the 48 people on board in the worst aviation disaster in American history until the following day.
- May 30 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 605: A Douglas C-54 Skymaster crashes near Bainbridge, Maryland, killing all 53 aboard (49 passengers, 4 crew), in America's worst commercial aviation disaster to that date.
- May 31
- Ferenc Nagy, the democratically elected prime Minister of Hungary, is forced into resign and go exile under pressure from the Soviet-backed Hungarian Communist Party led by Mátyás Rákosi. The fellow traveler Lajos Dinnyés replaces him, which grants the Communists effective control of the Hungarian government.
- Alcide de Gasperi forms a new government in Italy, the first postwar Italian government not to include members of the Italian Communist Party.
- June – The Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is introduced.
- June 5 – U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall outlines the Marshall Plan for American reconstruction and relief aid to Europe, in a speech at Harvard University.
- June 7 – The Romanian Army founds the association football club CCA (Clubul Central al Armatei – The Army's Central Club), which will become the most successful Romanian football team during its time as CSA Steaua București.
- June 10 – SAAB in Sweden produces its first automobile.
- June 11–15 – The first Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is held in Wales.
- June 15 – The Estado Novo in Portugal orders 11 military officers and 19 university professors, who are accused of revolutionary activity, to resign.
- June 21
- Seaman Harold Dahl claims to have seen six unidentified flying objects (UFOs) near Maury Island in Puget Sound, Washington. The next morning, Dahl reports the first modern so-called "Men in Black" encounter.
- The Parliament of Canada votes unanimously to pass several laws regarding displaced foreign refugees.
- June 23 – The United States Senate follows the House of Representatives, in overriding President Harry S. Truman's veto of the Taft–Hartley Act.
- June 24 – Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.
- June 25 – The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is published for the first time as Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven 14 juni 1942 – 1 augustus 1944 ("The Annex: Diary Notes from 14 June 1942 – 1 August 1944") in Amsterdam, two years after the writer's death in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
- July 1 – The United States begins the National Malaria Eradication Program, successfully eradicating malaria in 1951.
- July 6
- July 8 – Roswell UFO incident: A supposedly downed extraterrestrial spacecraft is reportedly found near Roswell, New Mexico.
- July 9 – King George VI of the United Kingdom announces the engagement of his daughter Princess Elizabeth to Lt. Philip Mountbatten.
- July 11 – The ship Exodus leaves France for Palestine, with 4,500 Jewish Holocaust survivor refugees on board.
- July 17
- July 18
- Following wide media and UNSCOP coverage, the Exodus is captured by British troops, and refused entry into Palestine at the port of Haifa.
- President Harry S. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act into law, which places the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate next in the line of succession, after the Vice President.
- July 19 – Burmese nationalist Aung San, and six members of his newly formed cabinet, are assassinated during a cabinet meeting.
- July 26 – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into law to create the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.
- July 27–28 – English endurance swimmer Tom Blower becomes the first person to swim the North Channel, from Donaghadee in Northern Ireland to Portpatrick in Scotland.
- July 29 – After being shut down on November 9, 1946, for a refurbishment, the ENIAC computer in the United States is turned back on again, and remains in continuous operation until October 2, 1955.
- August 1 – Indonesian airline Garuda Indonesia is established.
- August 2 – 1947 BSAA Avro Lancastrian Star Dust accident: A British South American Airways Avro Lancastrian airliner crashes into a mountain during a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile (the wreckage will not be found until 1998).
- August 5 – The Netherlands ends Operation Product, the first of its major politionele acties (military "police actions") in Indonesia.
- August 7
- Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood raft, the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands, after a 101-day, 4,300 mile, voyage across the Eastern Pacific Ocean, demonstrating that prehistoric peoples could have traveled to the Central Pacific islands from South America.
- The Bombay Municipal Corporation formally takes over the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).
- August 14
- The Muslim majority regions formed by the Partition of India gain independence from the British Empire as the Dominion of Pakistan. While the transition is officially at midnight on this day, Pakistan celebrates its independence on August 14, compared with India on the 15th, because the Pakistan Standard Time is 30 minutes behind the standard time of India.
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah becomes the first Governor-General of Pakistan. Liaquat Ali Khan takes office as the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.
- August 15
- The greater Indian subcontinent, with a mixed population of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Jews and others formed by the Partition of India, gains independence from the British Empire, as the Dominion of India.
- Jawaharlal Nehru takes office as the first Prime Minister of India, taking his oath from Louis Mountbatten, Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, Governor-General of India (but no longer Viceroy).
- August 16 – In Greece, General Markos Vafiadis takes over the government until 1949.
- August 23 – The Prime Minister of Greece, Dimitrios Maximos, resigns.
- August 27 – The French government lowers the daily bread ration to 200 grams, causing riots in Verdun and Le Mans.
- August 30 – A fire at a movie theater in Rueil, a suburb of Paris, France, kills 83 people.
- August 31 – In Hungary, communists fail to gain a majority in parliamentary elections (despite widespread fraud) and turn to direct action as part of the country's transition to Communism (1944–1949).
- September 9
- September 13 – Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru suggests the exchange of four million Hindus and Muslims between India and Pakistan.
- September 15–16 – Typhoon Kathleen strikes the Bōsō Peninsula and the entire Kantō region in Japan. Heavy rains cause the Arakawa and Tone Rivers to overflow and embankment collapse. The resulting floods and debris flow kill between 1,077 and 1,920 people, injuring 1,547 and leaving 853 missing.
- September 17–21 – The 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane in southeastern Florida, and also in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana causes widespread damage, and kills 50 people.
- September 18 – In the United States:
- September 22 – The Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties (Cominform) is founded by the International Communist Movement.
- September 30 – Pakistan and Yemen join the United Nations.
- October 1 – The North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter aircraft makes its first flight.
- October 5 – President Harry S. Truman delivers the first televised White House address, speaking on the world food crises.
- October 7 – The princely state of Bahawalpur is acceded to Pakistan.
- October 14
- October 20 – A war begins in Kashmir, along the border between India and Pakistan, initiating the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948. Also, Pakistan establishes diplomatic relations with the United States of America.
- October 24 – The first Azad Kashmir Government is established within Pakistan, headed by Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan as its first President supported by the government of Pakistan.
- October 30 – The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the foundation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is established.
- November 2 – In Long Beach, California, designer and airplane pilot Howard Hughes carries out the one and only flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules ("Spruce Goose"), the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built and flown. This flight only lasts 8 minutes.
- November 6 – The television program Meet the Press makes its debut, on the NBC-TV network in the United States.
- November 9 – Junagadh is invaded by the Indian army.
- November 10 – The arrest of four steel workers in Marseille begins a French communist riot, that also spreads to Paris.
- November 13
- Wataru Misaka makes the roster of the New York Knicks to become the first person of color to play in modern professional basketball, just months after Jackie Robinson has broken the color barrier in Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Misaka has led the Utah Utes to the 1944 NCAA and 1947 NIT championships.
- The Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47 assault rifle; it will be adopted by the Soviet Army in 1949 and become the most produced assault rifle in history.
- November 15
- November 16
- November 17–December 23 – John Bardeen and Walter Brattain working under William Shockley at AT&T's Bell Labs in the United States demonstrate the transistor effect, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th century.
- November 17 – The Screen Actors Guild implements an anti-Communist loyalty oath.
- November 18 – Ballantyne's fire: A fire in Ballantynes department store in Christchurch, New Zealand, kills 41 people.
- November 20
- Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh: Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth II), the daughter of George VI of the United Kingdom, marries The Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey in London.
- Paul Ramadier resigns as Prime Minister of France. He is succeeded by Robert Schuman, who calls in 80,000 army reservists to quell rioting miners in France.
- November 21 – The United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment begins in Havana, Cuba. This conference ends in 1948, when its members complete the Havana Charter.
- November 24 – McCarthyism: The United States House of Representatives votes 346–17 to approve citations of Contempt of Congress against the "Hollywood Ten", after the screenwriters and directors refuse to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of communist influences in the movie business. The ten men are blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios on the following day.
- November 25
- November 27 – In Paris, France, police occupy the editorial offices of the communist newspapers.
- November 29 – The United Nations General Assembly votes for the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine which will partition Mandatory Palestine between Arab and Jewish regions, resulting in the creation of the State of Israel.
- December – 1947 anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo, organised by the new Syrian government, result in some 75 Jews murdered and a Jewish exodus.
- December 2–4 – 1947 Aden riots: Yemeni Arabs attack Mizrahi Jews.
- December 2 – 1947 Jerusalem riots: Arabs protest against the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
- December 3
- French communist strikers derail the Paris-Tourcoing express train because of false rumors that it is transporting soldiers; 21 people are killed.
- The Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Marlon Brando in his first great role, opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway in New York City; Jessica Tandy also stars as Blanche Du Bois.
- December 4 – French Interior Minister Jules S. Moch takes emergency measures against his country's rioters, after six days of violent arguments in the National Assembly.
- December 5 – 1947 Manama riots: A mob of Iranian and Trucial States sailors pillage the Jewish community in the Manama Souq in the British Protectorate of Bahrain.
- December 6
- Arturo Toscanini conducts a concert performance of the first half of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Otello, for a broadcast on NBC Radio in the United States. The second half of the opera is broadcast a week later.
- Women are admitted to full membership of the University of Cambridge in England. following a vote in September.
- December 9 – French labor unions call off the general strike, and re-commence negotiations with the French government.
- December 12 – The Iranian Royal Army takes back power in the Azerbaijan province.
- December 14 – Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is officially inaugurated in Madrid, and hosts its first match.
- December 21 – During the mass migration of Hindus and Muslims between the new states of India and Pakistan, 400,000 are slaughtered.
- December 22 – The Italian Constituent Assembly votes to accept the new Constitution of Italy.
- December 30
- Raytheon produces the first commercial microwave oven, in the United States.
- Global casual fashion brand H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) is founded, and a first Hennes outlet store opens in Västmanland, Sweden.
|January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
- January 1
- January 4 – Chris Cutler, English percussionist
- January 5 – Mike DeWine, American politician, U.S. Senator (Ohio), 70th Governor of Ohio
- January 6
- January 8
- William Bonin, American serial killer (d. 1996)
- David Bowie, English singer, songwriter, and actor (d. 2016)
- Petrus Iilonga, Namibian politician (d. 2018)
- Igor Ivanov, Russian-born Canadian grandmaster (d. 2005)
- Samuel Schmid, Swiss Federal Councilor
- Terry Sylvester, English singer, musician
- Laurie Walters, American actress
- January 10
- January 13 – Carles Rexach, Spanish-Catalan footballer and coach
- January 15 – Andrea Martin, Canadian-American actress (Second City Television)
- January 16
- January 17 – Jane Elliot, American actress
- January 18 – Takeshi Kitano, Japanese film director, actor
- January 19 – Paula Deen, American Food Channel television personality
- January 20 – Cyrille Guimard, French road racing cyclist
- January 21 – Jill Eikenberry, American actress
- January 23
- January 24
- January 25 – Tostão (Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade), Brazilian footballer
- January 26 – Michel Sardou, French singer and actor
- January 27 – Björn Afzelius, Swedish singer, songwriter and guitarist (Hoola Bandoola Band) (d. 1999)
- January 29
- January 30 – Steve Marriott, British rock musician (d. 1991)
- January 31
- February 1 – Jessica Savitch, American journalist (d. 1983)
- February 2 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress (Charlie's Angels) (d. 2009)
- February 3
- February 4
- February 5
- February 7 – Wayne Allwine, American voice actor (d. 2009)
- February 9 – Erik Olin Wright, American sociologist (d. 2019)
- February 10
- February 11
- February 13 – Mike Krzyzewski, American basketball player and coach
- February 15
- February 16 – Veríssimo Correia Seabra, Bissau-Guinean military commander (d. 2004)
- February 18
- February 19 – Gustavo Rodríguez, Venezuelan actor (d. 2014)
- February 20
- February 21
- February 24
- February 25
- February 26 – Sandie Shaw, British singer
- February 27
- February 28 – Stephanie Beacham, English actress
- March 1 – Alan Thicke, Canadian actor, television host (d. 2016)
- March 2 – Yuri Bogatyryov, Soviet actor (d. 1989)
- March 4
- March 6
- March 7 – Walter Röhrl, German race car driver
- March 8
- March 9 – Ryszard Peryt, Polish conductor, librettist (d. 2019)
- March 10
- March 11
- March 12
- March 13 – Beat Richner, Swiss pediatrician, cellist (d. 2018)
- March 14
- March 15 – Ry Cooder, American guitarist
- March 16
- March 17 – Yury Chernavsky, Russian-born composer, producer
- March 18
- March 19 – Glenn Close, American actress
- March 20
- March 21 – Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of Yemen (d. 2017)
- March 22
- March 24
- March 25 – Elton John, English rock musician (Rocket Man)
- March 26 – Subhash Kak, Indian-American author
- March 27 – Walt Mossberg, American newspaper columnist
- March 31
- April 1
- April 2
- April 4 – Eliseo Soriano, Philippine preacher
- April 5 – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, 14th President of the Philippines, daughter of former president Diosdado Macapagal
- April 6 – John Ratzenberger, American actor (Cheers)
- April 7 – Florian Schneider, German musician (d. 2020)
- April 8 – Robert Kiyosaki, American investor, businessman and self-help author
- April 9 – Ken Lewis, American former CEO, president, and chairman of Bank of America
- April 10 – Bunny Wailer, Jamaican reggae musician
- April 11
- April 12
- April 13 – Mike Chapman, Australian-born songwriter, record producer
- April 15
- April 16
- April 18
- April 19 – Murray Perahia, American pianist
- April 20
- April 21 – Iggy Pop, American rock musician
- April 24 – Josep Borrell, Spanish minister, MEP and EU High Representative
- April 25
- April 27 – Pete Ham, Welsh singer, songwriter and guitarist (d. 1975)
- April 28 – Ken St. Andre, American game designer, author
- April 29
- April 30 – Leslie Grantham, English actor (d. 2018)
- May 1 – Jacob Bekenstein, Mexico-born Israeli-American theoretical physicist (d. 2015)
- May 3 – Richard Jenkins, American actor
- May 4 – Theda Skocpol, American sociologist
- May 5 – Malam Bacai Sanhá, Guinea-Bissau politician (d. 2012)
- May 6
- May 8
- May 9
- May 10 - Caroline B. Cooney, American author
- May 11
- May 12 – Michael Ignatieff, Canadian politician, philosopher and historian
- May 13 – Stephen R. Donaldson, American novelist
- May 14
- May 15
- May 16 – Bill Smitrovich, American actor
- May 17 – Hawa Abdi, Somali activist and doctor (d. 2020)
- May 18 – John Bruton, 10th Taoiseach of Ireland
- May 19 – Paul Brady, Northern Irish singer, songwriter
- May 21 – Lolit Solis, Filipina talent manager (host of Startalk, CelebriTV)
- May 23 – Ken Westerfield, American disc sports (Frisbee) pioneer, athlete, showman and promoter
- May 24 – Maude Barlow, Canadian author, activist and National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians
- May 26 – Glenn Turner, New Zealand cricket captain
- May 27
- May 28 – Pedro Giachino, Argentine Navy officer (d. 1982)
- May 29 – Stan Zemanek, Australian radio broadcaster (d. 2007)
- June 1
- June 2 – Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Punjabi saint, Sikh theologian, military leader (d. 1984)
- June 3 – Dave Alexander, American musician (d. 1975)
- June 4 – Viktor Klima, Chancellor of Austria
- June 5
- June 6
- June 7 – Thurman Munson, American baseball catcher (d. 1979)
- June 8 – Eric F. Wieschaus, American biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- June 9
- June 10 – Ken Singleton, American baseball player
- June 14 – Barry Melton, American rock musician (Country Joe and the Fish)
- June 15 – John Hoagland, American war photographer (d. 1984)
- June 16 – -minu, Swiss columnist, writer
- June 17 – Paul Young, English singer, songwriter (Mike and the Mechanics) (d. 2000)
- June 19
- June 20 – Candy Clark, American actress
- June 21
- Meredith Baxter, American actress (Family Ties)
- Rachel Adato, Israeli gynaecologist, lawyer and politician
- Jim Benzelock, American professional ice hockey right winger
- Shirin Ebadi, Iranian activist, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
- Michael Gross, American actor (Family Ties)
- Duane Thomas, American football running back
- Fernando Savater, Spanish philosopher, author
- June 22
- Bobby Douglass, American football quarterback
- Natalya Varley, Soviet, Russian film, theater actress
- Murray Webb, New Zealand caricature artist, test cricketer
- David Jones, Northern Irish European Tour golfer
- Octavia E. Butler, American author (d. 2006)
- David Lander, American actor (Laverne and Shirley)
- Trevor Blades, English cricketer
- Pete Maravich, American basketball player (d. 1988)
- Jerry John Rawlings, 2-time President of Ghana
- June 23
- June 24
- June 25
- June 26 – Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Afghan politician
- June 27
- June 29
- June 30 – Jean-Yves Le Drian, French minister
- July 1
- July 2 – Larry David, American actor, writer, producer and director (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
- July 3
- July 4
- July 5
- July 6
- July 7
- July 8 – Bobby Sowell, American pianist, composer
- July 9
- July 10
- July 11 – Riad Ismat, Syrian writer, critic and theatre director
- July 12
- July 14
- July 15
- July 16
- July 17 – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, British Princess, second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales
- July 18 – Steven W. Mahoney, Canadian politician
- July 19
- July 20
- July 21 – Co Adriaanse, Dutch football manager
- July 22
- July 23 – Spencer Christian, American television personality
- July 24 – Peter Serkin, American classical pianist (d. 2020)
- July 27
- July 28 – Su Tseng-chang, Taiwanese politician, 41st and 50th Premier of the Republic of China
- July 30
- July 31
- August 1
- August 3 – Colleen Corby, American fashion model
- August 4 – Hubert Ingraham, Bahamian politician
- August 5
- August 7 – Franciscus Henri, Dutch-born Australian children's entertainer, composer and artist
- August 8
- August 9 – John Varley, American science-fiction author
- August 10
- August 11 – Diether Krebs, German actor, cabaret artist and comedian (d. 2000)
- August 12 – William Hartston, British chess player
- August 13 – John Stocker, Canadian voice actor
- August 14
- August 15
- August 16
- August 17 – Mohamed Abdelaziz, Sahrawi politician
- August 19
- August 20 – José Wilker, Brazilian actor (d. 2014)
- August 22
- August 23 – Willy Russell, British playwright
- August 24 – Roger De Vlaeminck, Belgian cyclist
- August 26 – Nicolae Dobrin, Romanian footballer (d. 2007)
- August 27
- August 28
- August 29
- August 30 – Allan Rock, Canadian politician, diplomat
- August 31
- September 1 – Al Green, American politician
- September 3 – Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister of Norway
- September 5
- September 6
- September 8
- September 9 – Freddy Weller, American singer, songwriter
- September 13 – Ajib Ahmad, Malaysian politician (d. 2011)
- September 14
- September 16 – Russ Abbot, British comedian, actor
- September 17 – Dame Tessa Jowell, British politician (d. 2018)
- September 19
- September 21
- September 22
- September 23
- September 25
- September 26 – Lynn Anderson, American country music singer (d. 2015)
- September 27
- September 28
- September 30
- October 1
- October 2 – Ward Churchill, American author, activist
- October 3
- October 4 – Ann Widdecombe, British politician
- October 5 – Brian Johnson, English rock singer (AC/DC)
- October 6 – Gail Farrell, American singer
- October 7 – Pip Williams, British record producer
- October 8 – Stephen Shore, American photographer
- October 9 – France Gall, French singer (d. 2018)
- October 10 – Larry Lamb, British actor
- October 12 – George Lam, Hong Kong singer. actor
- October 13 – Sammy Hagar, American rock musician (Van Halen)
- October 14 – Nikolai Volkoff, Croatian-Russian professional wrestler (d. 2018)
- October 16
- October 17
- October 18
- October 19
- October 22 – Ed Welch, English TV music composer
- October 24 – Kevin Kline, American actor
- October 25 – Glenn Tipton, English rock guitarist
- October 26
- October 28 – Henri Michel, French football player and coach (d. 2018)
- October 29 – Richard Dreyfuss, American actor
- October 30 – Timothy B. Schmit, American musician
- October 31
- November 1
- November 2
- November 5 – Rubén Juárez, Argentine bandoneonist, singer and songwriter of tango (d. 2010)
- November 6
- November 7
- November 8
- November 9 – Phil Driscoll, American Christian musician, trumpet player
- November 10
- November 12 – Carlos Ezquerra, Spanish comics artist (d. 2018)
- November 13 – Joe Mantegna, American actor
- November 14
- November 15 – Steven G. Kellman, American author, critic
- November 17
- November 18 – Ali Bakar, Malaysian football player (d. 2003)
- November 19
- November 20
- November 21
- November 24 – Dwight Schultz, American actor (The A-Team)
- November 25 – John Larroquette, American actor (Night Court)
- November 29 – Mirza Khazar, Azerbaijani author
- November 30
- December 1
- December 2 – Isaac Bitton, French rock band drummer
- December 6 – RR Soares, Brazilian televangelist, missionary, author, singer, businessman and composer
- December 7
- December 8
- December 9 – Tom Daschle, U.S. Senator
- December 10 – Rainer Seifert, German field hockey player
- December 11 – David E. Stone, American sound editor
- December 12 – Will Alsop, English architect
- December 14
- December 16
- December 17
- December 18 – Leonid Yuzefovich, Russian crime fiction writer
- December 21 – Paco de Lucía, Spanish guitarist (d. 2014)
- December 22
- December 25 – Pepe Smith, Filipino rock musician (d. 2019)
- December 26 – Carlton Fisk, American baseball player
- December 27 – Bob Conti, American musician
- December 28 – Aurelio Rodríguez, Mexican Major League Baseball player (d. 2000)
- December 29
- December 30 – Jeff Lynne, British musician (Electric Light Orchestra)
- December 31
- Marouf al-Bakhit, twice Prime Minister of Jordan
- January 3 – Al Herpin, French-born American insomniac, "The Man Who Never Slept" (b. 1862)
- January 8 – Tadeusz Kutrzeba, Polish general (b. 1885)
- January 9
- January 10
- January 11 – Eva Tanguay, Canadian-born vaudeville performer (b. 1878)
- January 12
- January 13
- January 14 – Bill Hewitt, American football player (Chicago Bears), Pro Football Hall of Fame member (b. 1909)
- January 15 – The "Black Dahlia" (Elizabeth Short), American murder victim (b. 1924)
- January 17 – Hryhoriy Khomyshyn, Ukrainian Roman Catholic bishop, martyr and blessed (b. 1867)
- January 18 – Maria Giovanna Fasce, Italian Roman Catholic religious professed, Augustinian nun and blessed (b. 1881)
- January 19 – Manuel Machado, Spanish poet (b. 1874)
- January 20
- January 22 – Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot, British writer (b. 1888)
- January 23
- January 24 – August Meyszner, Austrian-born SS officer (executed) (b. 1886)
- January 25 – Al Capone, American gangster (b. 1899)
- January 26
- January 27 – Vassily Balabanov, Soviet administrator, Provincial Governor of Imperial Russia (b. 1873)
- January 28 – Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan-born French composer (b. 1874)
- January 30 – Frederick Blackman, British plant physiologist (b.1866)
- February 3 – Petar Zivkovic, Yugoslavian politician, 11th Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (b. 1879)
- February 4 – Luigi Russolo, Italian painter, composer (b. 1885)
- February 6
- February 11 – Martin Klein, Estonian wrestler (b.1884)
- February 12
- February 14 – Celestina Boninsegna, Italian soprano (b. 1877)
- February 15 – Mustafa Abdel-Razek, Egyptian Islamic philosopher (b. 1885)
- February 16
- February 18
- February 20 – Henry Herbert, British actor (b. 1879)
- February 22 – Willie Franklin Pruit, American poet (b. 1865)
- February 23 – Hakim Habibur Rahman, Indian physician, writer, journalist and politician (b. 1881)
- February 24
- February 26
- February 27 – Heinrich Häberlin, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1868)
- March 2 – Whately Carington, British parapsychologist (b. 1892)
- March 5 – Alfredo Casella, Italian composer (b. 1883)
- March 9
- March 10 – Harukichi Hyakutake, Japanese general (b. 1888)
- March 11
- March 12 – Walter Samuel Goodland, Governor of Wisconsin (b. 1862)
- March 15
- March 18 – William C. Durant, American automobile pioneer (b. 1861)
- March 19 – Prudence Heward, Canadian painter (b. 1896)
- March 20 – Victor Goldschmidt, Swiss geochemist (b. 1888)
- March 21 – Homer Lusk Collyer, American hermit brother (Collyer brothers) (b. 1881)
- March 23
- Archduchess Louise of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (b. 1870)
- Ferdinand Zecca, French actor, producer, director and screenwriter (b. 1864)
- March 25 – Chen Cheng-po, Taiwanese painter (b. 1895)
- March 28
- March 29 – Manuel de Adalid y Gamero, Honduran composer (b. 1872)
- April 1 – King George II of Greece (b. 1890)
- April 5 – Petro Trad, Lebanese lawyer, politician, 14th Prime Minister of Lebanon and 5th President of Lebanon (b. 1876)
- April 6 - Herbert Backe, German Nazi general (b. 1896)
- April 7
- April 8 – Langley Collyer, American hermit brother (b. 1885)
- April 9 – William Foden, American composer (b. 1860)
- April 10
- April 12 – Duke Robert of Württemberg (b. 1873)
- April 14 – Salvador Toscano, Mexican director, producer and filmmaker (b. 1872)
- April 15 – Georg Friederici, German ethnologist (b. 1866)
- April 16
- April 18 – Jozef Tiso, Slovak politician, Roman Catholic priest, 1st Prime Minister of Slovakia and President of Slovakia (b. 1887)
- April 20 – King Christian X of Denmark (b. 1870)
- April 21 – Heitor da Silva Costa, Brazilian engineer, designer and constructor (b. 1873)
- April 23 – Gyula Károlyi, Hungarian politician, 29th Prime Minister of Hungary (b. 1871)
- April 24 – Willa Siebert Cather, American novelist (b. 1873)
- April 25
- April 26 – Francesco Paolo Finocchiaro, Italian painter (b. 1868)
- April 29
- April 30
- May 8 – Harry Gordon Selfridge, American department store magnate (b. 1858)
- May 13 – Sukanta Bhattacharya, Bengali poet (b. 1926)
- May 14 – John R. Sinnock, 8th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint (b. 1888)
- May 15 – Miguel Abadía Méndez, Colombian politician, 12th President of Colombia (b. 1867)
- May 16
- May 17
- May 18 – Lucile Gleason, American actress (b. 1888)
- May 20 – Philipp Lenard, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1862)
- May 24 – C. F. Ramuz, Swiss writer (b. 1878)
- May 28 – August Eigruber, Nazi war criminal (executed) (b. 1907)
- May 30 – Georg Ludwig von Trapp, Austrian sailor, patriarch of the Von Trapp Family of The Sound of Music fame (b. 1880)
- May 31 – Adrienne Ames, American actress (b. 1907)
- June 6
- June 9
- June 11 – Richard Hönigswald, Hungarian-born American philosopher (b. 1875)
- June 14 – Albert Marquet, French painter (b. 1875)
- June 17 – Maxwell Perkins, American literary editor (b. 1884)
- June 18
- June 19 – Kōsō Abe, Japanese admiral, convicted war criminal (executed) (b. 1892)
- June 20 – Bugsy Siegel, American gangster (assassinated) (b. 1906)
- June 22 – Jim Tully, American vagabond, pugilist and writer (b. 1891)
- June 24 – Bartolome Pagano, Italian actor (b. 1878)
- June 26 – Richard Bedford Bennett, 11th Prime Minister of Canada (b. 1870)
- June 28 – Franciszek Mączyński, Polish architect (b. 1874)
- July 7 – José Luis Tamayo, 20th President of Ecuador (b. 1858)
- July 12 – Jimmie Lunceford, American jazz musician (b. 1902)
- July 15
- July 17 – Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat, humanitarian (presumed dead on this date) (b. 1912)
- July 18 – Fumio Hayashi, Japanese physician (b. 1900)
- July 19 – Aung San, Burmese nationalist (assassinated) (b. 1915)
- July 21 – Patriarch Yousef VI Emmanuel II Thomas (b. 1852)
- July 23
- July 25 - Kathleen Scott, British sculptor and wife of explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott (b. 1878)
- July 26 – Archbishop Leontios of Cyprus (b. 1896)
- July 27 – Ivan Regen, Slovenian biologist (b. 1868)
- July 29
- July 30
- August – Teresa Magbanua, Filipino general (b. 1868)
- August 3
- August 8 – Anton Ivanovich Denikin, Russian military leader (b. 1872)
- August 9 – Carlo Romanelli, Italian sculptor (b. 1872)
- August 10 – Antonio Sciortino, Maltese sculptor (b. 1879)
- August 11 – Prince Sisowath Youtevong, 4th Prime Minister of Cambodia (b. 1913)
- August 15 – Claudio Granzotto, Italian Roman Catholic religious professed and blessed (b. 1900)
- August 17 – Prince Eugen, Duke of Närke (b. 1865)
- August 20
- August 23 – Hasmik, Soviet actress (b. 1878)
- August 29
- September 1 – Frederick Russell Burnham, American Scout, father of the international Scouting movement (b. 1861)
- September 8 – Victor Horta, Belgian Art Nouveau architect (b. 1861)
- September 9 – Ananda Coomaraswamy, American philosopher (b. 1877)
- September 10 – Hatazō Adachi, Japanese general (suicide) (b. 1890)
- September 11
- September 20
- September 21
- September 26 – Hugh Lofting, British-born writer (b. 1886)
- September 27 – Luigi Barlassina, Patriarch of Jerusalem (b. 1872)
- October 1
- October 2 – P. D. Ouspensky, Soviet mathematician (b. 1878)
- October 3 – Ernest L. Riebau, American politician (1895)
- October 4 – Max Planck, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1858)
- October 6 – Leevi Madetoja, Finnish composer (b. 1887)
- October 10 – Jo Mora, Uruguayan-born American cartoonist (b. 1876)
- October 12
- October 13 – Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield, British economist, social reformer (b. 1859)
- October 16 – Anna B. Eckstein, German peace campaigner (b. 1868)
- October 17 – John Halliday, American actor (b. 1880)
- October 18
- October 20 – Sir Albert Howard, English botanist and organic farming pioneer (b. 1873)
- October 23 – Carl Shelton, American gangster (b. 1888)
- October 24 – Dudley Digges, Irish actor (b. 1879)
- October 27 – María Teresalina Sánchez, Spanish Franciscan religious sister, missionary and martyr (b. 1918)
- October 28 – Earl Snell, Governor of Oregon (plane crash) (b. 1895)
- October 29 – Frances Cleveland, First Lady of the United States (b. 1864)
- November 1 – Man o' War, champion thoroughbred racehorse (b. 1917)
- November 3 – Nelson McDowell, American actor (b. 1870)
- November 7 – Sándor Garbai, Prime Minister of Hungary (b. 1879)
- November 8
- November 15 – Eduard Ritter von Schleich, German fighter ace, air force general (b. 1888)
- November 16 – Giuseppe Volpi, Italian businessman, politician (b. 1877)
- November 17 – Josaphat Kotsylovsky, Ukrainian Roman Catholic bishop, martyr and blessed (b. 1876)
- November 20 – Georg Kolbe, German sculptor (b. 1877)
- November 25 – Léon-Paul Fargue, French writer (b. 1876)
- November 28
- November 29 – Ernie Adams, American actor (b. 1885)
- November 30 – Ernst Lubitsch, German film director (b. 1892)
- December 1
- December 2 – Franz Xaver Schwarz, German Nazi politician (executed) (b. 1875)
- December 3 – Heinrich Hetsch, German physician, microbiologist (b. 1873)
- December 4
- December 6 – Tadashige Daigo, Japanese admiral (executed) (b. 1891)
- December 7
- December 9 – John Kelly, American actor (b. 1901)
- December 10 – Pierre Petit de Julleville, French Roman Catholic priest, bishop and eminence (b. 1876)
- December 13
- December 14
- December 15 – Arthur Machen, British writer (b. 1863)
- December 17
- December 20
- December 23 – Ziauddin Ahmad, Indian educationalist and politician (b. 1878)
- December 25 – Gaspar G. Bacon, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1886)
- December 27 – Johannes Winkler, German rocket pioneer (b. 1897)
- December 28 – King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (b. 1869)
- December 29 – Han van Meegeren, Dutch painter, forger (b. 1889)
- December 30 – Alfred North Whitehead, British mathematician, philosopher (b. 1861)
- Physics – Edward Victor Appleton
- Chemistry – Sir Robert Robinson
- Medicine – Carl Ferdinand Cori, Gerty Cori, Bernardo Houssay
- Literature – André Gide
- Peace – The Friends Service Council (UK) and The American Friends Service Committee (USA), on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends
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