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- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Nobel Prizes
- 5 References
- January 1 – UN sponsored ceasefire brings an end to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. The war results in a stalemate and the division of Kashmir, which is still continuing as of 2017.
- January 2 – Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
- January 4 – RMS Caronia of the Cunard Line departs Southampton for New York on her maiden voyage.
- January 4 – February 22 – Series of winter storms in Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado and Nevada – winds of up to 72 mph – tens of thousands of cattle and sheep perish.
- January 5 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman unveils his Fair Deal program.
- January 11 – Los Angeles receives its first recorded snowfall.
- January 16 – Şemsettin Günaltay forms the new government of Turkey. (18th government, last single party government of CHP)
- January 17 – The first VW Type 1 to arrive in the United States, a 1948 model, is brought to New York by Dutch businessman Ben Pon. Unable to interest dealers or importers in the Volkswagen, Pon sells the sample car to pay his travel expenses. Only two 1949 models were sold in America that year, convincing Volkswagen chairman Heinrich Nordhoff the car had no future in the U.S. (The Type 1 went on to become an automotive phenomenon.)
- January 19 – The Poe Toaster first appears at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.
- January 20 – Harry S. Truman is sworn in for a full term as President of the United States.
- January 25
- January 26 – Australian citizenship comes into being and the Constitution of India was prepared.
- January 31 – Forces from the Communist Party of China enter Beijing.
- February 1 – Rationing of clothes ends in Britain.
- February 1 – Belgian astronomer Jean Meeus (b. 1928) asserts that the orbits of all the planets of the Solar System were within the same 90° arc of the Solar System on this date. The next time it is thought this will occur is on May 6, 2492.
- February 10 – Arthur Miller's tragedy Death of a Salesman opens at the Morosco Theatre in New York City and runs for 742 performances.
- February 11 – London Mozart Players perform their first concert at the Wigmore Hall, London.
- February 13 – António Óscar Carmona is re-elected president of Portugal for lack of an opposing candidate.
- February 17 – Chaim Weizmann begins his term as the first President of Israel.
- February 19 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
- February 22
- February 28 – Margaret Roberts, the future Margaret Thatcher, is adopted as the Conservative candidate for Dartford. She will go on to fight two elections in the constituency unsuccessfully in 1950 and 1951.
- March 1
- March 2 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II under Captain James Gallagher lands in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight (it was refueled in flight 4 times).
- March 17 – The Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas, owned by oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy, has its grand opening.
- March 20 – The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Denver and Rio Grande Western, and Western Pacific railroads inaugurate the California Zephyr passenger train between Chicago and Oakland, California, as the first long distance train to feature Vista Dome cars as regular equipment.
- March 21 – WTVJ signs on the air in Miami, Florida as the first station in the state.
- March 24 – The 21st Academy Awards ceremony is held. The movie Hamlet wins the Academy Award for Best Picture.
- March 25 – Operation Priboi: An extensive deportation campaign begins in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Soviet authorities deport more than 92,000 people from the Baltic states to remote areas of the Soviet Union.
- March 26 – The first half of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida, conducted by legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, and performed in concert (i.e. no scenery or costumes), is telecast by NBC, live from Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center. The second half is telecast a week later. This is the only complete opera that Toscanini ever conducts on television.
- March 28
- March 31 – The former British colony of Newfoundland joins Canada as its 10th province.
- April 1 – The Tokyo Stock Exchange is founded.
- April 4 – The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., creating the NATO defense alliance.
- April 7 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, opens on Broadway and goes on to become R&H's second longest-running musical. It becomes an instant classic of the musical theatre. The score's biggest hit is the song "Some Enchanted Evening".
- April 8 – Kathy Fiscus, 3½ years old, dies from falling down an abandoned well in San Marino, California.
- April 14 – The day the N'Ko alphabet is held to have been completed by Solomana Kante.
- April 18 – Ireland leaves the British Commonwealth and becomes the Republic of Ireland.
- April 20 – The Royal Navy frigate HMS Amethyst goes up the Yangtze river to evacuate British Commonwealth refugees escaping the advance of Mao's Communist forces. Under heavy fire, she grounds off Rose Island. After an abortive rescue attempt on April 26, she anchors 10 miles upstream. Negotiations with the Communists to let the ship leave drag on for weeks, during which time the ship's cat Simon raises the crew's morale.
- April 23 – Chinese Communist troops take Nanjing.
- April 27 – British Commonwealth of Nations renamed The Commonwealth.
- April 28
- The Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference issues the London Declaration, enabling India (and, thereafter, any other nation) to remain in the British Commonwealth despite becoming a republic, creating the position of 'Head of the Commonwealth', and renaming the organisation as the 'Commonwealth of Nations'.
- Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon, 61, is assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 others are also killed.
- April 29 – The News Review reveals that neither the English public school Selhurst College nor its headmaster H. Rochester Sneath exist, but are a hoax created by Humphry Berkeley.
- May 1 – Nereid, a moon of Neptune, is discovered by Gerard Kuiper.
- May 4 – Superga air disaster: The Fiat G.212 airliner of Avio Linee Italiane carrying the entire Torino F.C. football team, crashes into the back wall of the Basilica of Superga, killing all 31 on board.
- May 5 – The Council of Europe is founded by the signing of the Treaty of London.
- May 6 – EDSAC, the first practicable stored-program computer, runs its first program at Cambridge University.
- May 9 – Rainier III of Monaco becomes Prince of Monaco, upon the death of his maternal grandfather Louis II.
- May 11
- May 12 – Cold War: The Soviet Union lifts the Berlin Blockade.
- May 20
- May 22 – After two months in Bethesda Naval Hospital, James Forrestal commits suicide, under circumstances that seem suspicious to many.
- May 23 – The Federal Republic of Germany is established.
- May 31 – First trial of Alger Hiss for perjury begins in New York with Whittaker Chambers as principal witness for the prosecution, but would end in a jury deadlock (8 for, 4 against)
- June 2 – Transjordan changes name to the Kingdom of Jordan.
- June 5 – Thailand elects Orapin Chaiyakan, the first Thai female member of Thailand's Parliament.
- June 6 – With the passage of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act by the Indian government, Mahabodhi Temple is restored to partial Buddhist control.
- June 8
- June 14 – Albert II, a rhesus monkey, becomes the first primate to enter space, on U.S. Hermes project V-2 rocket Blossom IVB, but is killed on impact at return.
- June 19 – Glenn Dunaway wins the inaugural NASCAR race at Charlotte Speedway, a 3/4 mile oval in Charlotte, North Carolina, but is disqualified due to illegal springs. Jim Roper is declared the official winner.
- June 24 – The first television western, Hopalong Cassidy, airs on NBC.
- June 29
- July 1 – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is established.
- July 11 – Pamir is the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn under sail alone.
- July 19 – The Kingdom of Laos is officially formed but is not independent from the French Army.
- July 20 – Israel and Syria sign a truce to end their 19-month war.
- July 27 – The de Havilland Comet, world's first jet-powered airliner, makes its first flight.
- July 27 – Rhodesia beats the New Zealand All Blacks 10-8 in Bulawayo. It is the only non-Test nation to achieve this feat.Template:Clarify
- July 30 – Birth of legal aid in England and Wales.
- July 31 – Captain Kerans of the HMS Amethyst decides to make a break after nightfall, under heavy fire from the Chinese People's Liberation Army on both sides of the Yangtze river, and successfully rejoins the fleet at Woosung the next day.
- August 3 – The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League finalize the merger that would create the National Basketball Association.
- August 5 – The 6.8 ML Ambato earthquake kills more than 5,000 and destroys a number of villages in Ecuador.
- August 8 – Bhutan becomes independent.
- August 12 – The Fourth Geneva Convention is agreed to.
- August 14
- August 21 – Deportivo Saprissa enters Costa Rica – soccer's first division.
- August 22 – The Queen Charlotte earthquake is Canada's largest earthquake since the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.
- August 24 – North Atlantic Treaty Organization established.
- August 28 – The last 6 surviving veterans of the American Civil War meet in Indianapolis.
- August 29
- August 31 – The retreat of the Greek Democratic Army in Albania after its defeat at Mount Grammos marks the end of the Greek Civil War.
- September 2 – Film noir The Third Man, with screenplay by Graham Greene and set in Allied-occupied Vienna, is released in the United Kingdom; it wins the 1949 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
- September 6
- September 7 – The Federal Republic of Germany is officially founded. Konrad Adenauer is the first federal chancellor.
- September 9
- September 13 – The Soviet Union vetoes United Nations membership for Ceylon, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan and Portugal.
- September 17 – The Canadian steamship Template:SS burns in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives.
- September 19 – The United Kingdom government devalues the pound sterling from $4.03 to $2.80, leading to many other currencies being devalued.
- September 23 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman announces that the Soviet Union has tested the atomic bomb.
- September 24 – László Rajk, ex-foreign minister of Hungary, is sentenced to death.
- September 29
- The First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference approves a design for the Flag of the People's Republic of China.
- Iva Toguri D'Aquino is found guilty of broadcasting for Japan as "Tokyo Rose" during World War II.
- October 1 – The People's Republic of China is officially proclaimed.
- October 2 – The Soviet Union recognizes the People's Republic of China.
- October 3 – Albanian Subversion: First Anglo-American attempt to infiltrate guerillas into Albania; the operation is fatally flawed by being under the control of double agent Kim Philby.
- October 7 – The Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) is officially established.
- October 13 – Severe flooding hits Guatemala.
- October 14 – Foley Square trial of Eugene Dennis and ten other leaders of the Communist Party USA ends in New York City (the longest trial in US history to this date); all defendants are found guilty and all but one sentenced to five years of prison.
- October 16 – Greek Civil War ends with a communist surrender.
- October 17 – Chinese communist troops take Guangzhou.
- October 24 – The cornerstone of the Headquarters of the United Nations on Manhattan is laid.
- October 27
- Chinese communist troops fail to take Quemoy in the Battle of Kuningtou; their advance towards Taiwan is halted.
- 1949 Air France Lockheed Constellation crash: An Air France flight from Paris to New York crashes in the Azores on São Miguel Island, killing all aboard. Among the victims are violinist Ginette Neveu and French boxer Marcel Cerdan.
- November 15 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte are executed for assassinating Mohandas Gandhi.
- November 17 – Second trial of Alger Hiss begins in New York, again with Whittaker Chambers as principal witness
- November 24 – The ski resort in Squaw Valley, Placer County, California officially opens.
- November 26 – The Indian Constituent Assembly adopts India's constitution .
- November 28 – Winston Churchill makes a landmark speech in support of the idea of a European Union at Kingsway Hall, London.
- December 7 – The government of the Republic of China finishes its evacuation to Taiwan, and declares Taipei its temporary capital city.
- December 8 – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) established as a UN agency.
- December 10 – Robert Menzies elected prime minister of Australia.
- December 14 – Traicho Kostov, ex-vice prime minister of Bulgaria, is sentenced to death.
- December 15 – A typhoon strikes a fishing fleet off Korea, killing several thousand.
- December 16 – Sukarno is elected president of the Republic of Indonesia.
- December 17 – Burma recognizes the People's Republic of China.
- December 18 – In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 to win the championship.
- December 27 – Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants Indonesia sovereignty.
- December 30 – India recognizes the People's Republic of China.
- The Currywurst is invented in Berlin.
- The Malta Labour Party is founded.
- The Vatican announces that bones uncovered in its subterranean catacombs could be those of the apostle Peter; 19 years later, Pope Paul VI announces confirmation that the bones belong to this first Pope.
- The first 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun prototypes are completed.
- 1949 was the first year in which no African-American was reported lynched in the USA.
- Joseph Stalin launches a savage attack on Soviet Jews, accusing them of being pro-Western and antisocialist.
- Samuel Putnam publishes his new translation of Don Quixote, the first in contemporary English. It is instantly acclaimed and, in 2008, is still in print.
- Fernand Braudel's La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l'Epoque de Philippe II is published.
- Volkswagen Type 2 Bus is introduced.
- January 1
- January 2 – Christopher Durang, American playwright
- January 3 – Sylvia Likens, American murder victim (d. 1965)
- January 7 – Chavo Guerrero Sr., professional wrestler
- January 8 – Wolfgang Puck, Austrian chef
- January 9 – Mary Roos, German singer
- January 10
- January 11 – Daryl Braithwaite, Australian singer
- January 12
- January 13 – Brandon Tartikoff, American television executive (d. 1997)
- January 14 – Lawrence Kasdan, American director and screenwriter
- January 15 – Panos Mihalopoulos, Greek actor
- January 16 – Caroline Munro, English actress and model
- January 17
- January 18 – Philippe Starck, French designer
- January 19
- January 20 – Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden
- January 22 – Steve Perry, American rock singer
- January 24
- January 26 – David Strathairn, American actor
- January 28 – Gregg Popovich, American basketball coach
- January 29
- January 30 – Peter Agre, American biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- January 31
- February 2
- February 3 – Hennie Kuiper, Dutch cyclist
- February 4 – Rasim Delić, Bosnian military chief of staff and war criminal (d. 2010)
- February 6 – Jim Sheridan, Irish film director
- February 7
- February 8 – Brooke Adams, American actress
- February 9 – Judith Light, American actress
- February 10 – Maxime Le Forestier, French singer
- February 15 – Ken Anderson, American NFL player
- February 16 – Lyn Paul, English singer
- February 17 – Dennis Green, American football coach (d. 2016)
- February 18 – Gary Ridgway, American serial killer
- February 19 – Dan Bunten, American computer game designer (d. 1998)
- February 20 – Ivana Trump, Czech businesswoman
- February 21 – Ronnie Hellström, Swedish footballer
- February 22 – Niki Lauda, Austrian race car driver
- February 25 – Ric Flair, American professional wrestler
- February 28 – Ilene Graff, American actress and singer
- March 2
- March 3
- March 5 – Franz Josef Jung, German politician
- March 6
- March 7 – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Indian politician
- March 9
- March 10 – Larry Wall, American computer programmer
- March 11 – Georg Schramm, German psychologist and Kabarett artist
- March 12
- March 13 – Julia Migenes, American soprano
- March 16
- March 17
- March 18 – Alex Higgins, Northern Irish snooker player (d. 2010)
- March 19
- March 20 – Marcia Ball, American blues musician
- March 21 – Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher
- March 22 – Fanny Ardant, French actress
- March 23 – Ric Ocasek, American rock musician
- March 24 – Nick Lowe, English pop singer
- March 26
- March 28 – Ronnie Ray Smith, American Olympic athlete (d. 2013)
- March 29 – Michael Brecker, American jazz musician (d. 2007)
- March 30
- April 1
- April 2 – Pamela Reed, American actress
- April 3 – Richard Thompson, English musician and songwriter
- April 4 – Parveen Babi, Bollywood Actress (d. 2005)
- April 6 – Horst Ludwig Störmer, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- April 7 – Zygmunt Zimowski, Polish bishop (d. 2016)
- April 8
- April 10 – Daniel Mangeas, French bicycle commentator
- April 11 – Bernd Eichinger, German film producer and director (d. 2011)
- April 13 – Christopher Hitchens, English-American writer (d. 2011)
- April 14 – John Shea, American actor
- April 15
- April 16 – Sandy Hawley, Canadian jockey
- April 18
- April 19 – Sergey Nikolayevich Volkov, Russian figure skater (d. 1990)
- April 20
- April 21 – Patti LuPone, American actress
- April 23
- April 24 – Véronique Sanson, French singer and songwriter
- April 26 – Jerry Blackwell, American professional wrestler (d. 1995)
- April 28 – Bruno Kirby, American actor (d. 2006)
- April 30 – António Guterres, Prime Minister of Portugal and 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations
- May 2 – Alan Titchmarsh, English gardener
- May 3 – Leopoldo Luque, Argentine soccer player
- May 4 – John Force, American race car driver
- May 9
- May 13
- May 14 – Sverre Årnes, Norwegian writer
- May 18
- May 19
- May 20 – Dave Thomas, Canadian actor and comedian
- May 22 – Chris Butler, American musician and songwriter (The Waitresses)
- May 23 – Alan García Pérez, President of Peru
- May 24
- May 26
- May 27 – Jo Ann Harris American actress
- May 29 – Francis Rossi, English rock guitarist/singer (Status Quo)
- May 31 – Tom Berenger, American actor
- June 2 – Heather Couper, British astronomer
- June 4 – Mark B. Cohen, Pennsylvania legislative leader
- June 8 – Emanuel Ax, Polish-born pianist
- June 10 – Bora Dugić, Serbian musician and flautist
- June 11 – Frank Beard, American drummer (ZZ Top)
- June 13 – Ann Druyan, American popular science writer
- June 14
- June 15
- June 16 – Robbin Thompson, American singer-songwriter (d. 2015)
- June 17 – Andrei Fursenko, Russian politician, scientist and businessman
- June 18
- June 19 – Hassan Shehata, Egyptian footballer and coach
- June 20 – Lionel Richie, American urban musician and was lead singer of Commodores
- June 21
- June 22
- June 25 – Kene Holliday, American actor
- June 27 – Vera Wang, American fashion designer
- June 30 – Andy Scott, Welsh singer-songwriter and guitarist
- July 1 – John Farnham, Australian singer, recording artist and entertainer
- July 2 – David Eaton, American composer, conductor and producer
- July 3
- July 4 – Horst Seehofer, German conservative politician
- July 6 – Noli de Castro, Filipino broadcast journalist and radio commentator, Vice President of the Philippines
- July 7 – Shelley Duvall, American actress
- July 9
- July 11
- July 13 – Helena Fibingerová, Czech athlete
- July 15
- July 17
- July 22
- July 24 – Michael Richards, American actor and comedian
- July 26
- July 29 – Jamil Mahuad, President of Ecuador
- July 31 – Mike Jackson, American basketball player
- August 4 – John Riggins, American football player
- August 6 – Alan Campbell, Northern Irish cleric
- August 7 – Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese Druze
- August 11 – Sandra Scheuer, Kent State University shooting victim (d. 1970)
- August 12
- August 14 – Morten Olsen, Danish football player and manager
- August 15 – Beverly Lynn Burns, American pilot, first woman in the world to captain the Boeing 747
- August 16 – Barbara Goodson, American actress/voice actress
- August 17 – Sue Draheim, American fiddler (d. 2013)
- August 20 – Phil Lynott, Irish rock musician (d. 1986)
- August 21
- August 23
- August 24 – Charles Rocket, American actor (d. 2005)
- August 25
- August 28 – Svetislav Pešić, Serbian basketball player and coach
- August 30 – Peter Maffay, German singer
- August 31
- September 1 – Leslie Feinberg, American transgender activist
- September 7
- September 9
- September 10 – Bill O'Reilly, American conservative radio and television commentator
- September 13 – John W. Henry, American foreign exchange advisor, Boston Red Sox owner
- September 14 – Eikichi Yazawa, Japanese singer
- September 15 – Joe Barton, American politician
- September 16 – Ed Begley, Jr. American actor and environmentalist
- September 17 – Didith Reyes, Filipina singer (d. 2008)
- September 18
- September 19
- September 22 – Dean Goss, American game show announcer and disc jockey
- September 23 – Bruce Springsteen, American singer and songwriter
- September 25 – Inshan Ali, West Indian cricketer (d. 1995)
- September 26 – Jane Smiley, American novelist
- September 27 – Mike Schmidt, American baseball player
- October 1 – Isaac Bonewits, American author and occultist
- October 2
- October 4 – Armand Assante, American actor
- October 6 – Bobby Farrell, West Indian-born Dutch dancer (Boney M.) (d. 2010)
- October 7 – Ronnie Mund, American television personality
- October 8
- October 12
- October 14
- October 17 – Bill Hudson, American musician
- October 20 – Valeriy Borzov, Ukrainian athlete
- October 21 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
- October 22 – Arsène Wenger, French football (soccer) manager
- October 26 – Antonio Carpio, Filipino Supreme Court jurist
- October 27 – Cheryl Keeton, American murder victim (d. 1986)
- October 28 – Caitlyn Jenner, American transgender track and field athlete and reality star
- October 30 – Pramod Mahajan, Indian politician and strategist (d. 2006)
- November 1
- November 3 – Larry Holmes, American boxer
- November 5
- November 6 – Joseph C. Wilson, former United States diplomat
- November 7
- November 8 – Bonnie Raitt, American country singer and guitarist
- November 15 – David Rubinstein, American pianist and composer
- November 17 – John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
- November 19 – Ahmad Rashād, American sportscaster and television personality
- November 22 – Shaun Garnett, English footballer and coach
- November 24
- November 25
- November 26
- November 28
- November 29
- December 1
- December 3 – John Akii-Bua, Ugandan hurdler (d. 1997)
- December 4
- December 7
- December 8 – Mary Gordon, American writer
- December 12 – Bill Nighy, English actor
- December 13
- December 14 – Bill Buckner, American baseball player
- December 15 – Don Johnson, American actor
- December 16 – Billy Gibbons, American guitarist (ZZ Top)
- December 17 – Paul Rodgers, British rock singer
- December 19 – Sebastian, Danish musician
- December 20 – Claudia Jennings, American model (d. 1979)
- December 22
- December 24 – Randy Neugebauer, American politician
- December 25
- December 26 – José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- December 27 – Klaus Fischer, German footballer
- December 28 – Barbara De Fina, American film producer
- Ali Al-Zein, Lebanese actor and voice actor
- Suthep Po-ngam, Thai comedian, actor, film director and screenwriter
- Mu Tiezhu, Chinese basketball player and coach (d. 2008)
- January 6 – Victor Fleming, American director (b. 1889)
- January 9 – Tommy Handley, British radio comedian (b. 1892)
- January 8 – Yoshijirō Umezu, Japanese general (b. 1882)
- January 11 – Nelson Doubleday, American publisher (b. 1889)
- January 14
- January 22 – Henry Slocum, American tennis player (b. 1862)
- January 28 – Jean-Pierre Wimille, French race car driver (b. 1908)
- February 1 – Herbert Stothart, American composer (b. 1885)
- February 6 – Hiroaki Abe, Japanese admiral (b. 1889)
- February 12 – Imam Hassan al-Banna, Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (b. 1906) (assassinated)
- February 17 – Ellery Harding Clark, American athlete (b. 1874)
- February 18 – Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, Spanish politician, former president of the II Republic (b. 1877)
- February 21 – Tan Malaka, Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader (b. 1894)
- March 7 – Bradbury Robinson, American who threw the first forward pass in American football history in 1906 (b. 1884)
- March 11 – Henri Giraud, French general (b. 1879)
- March 17 – Felix Bressart, German-American actor (b. 1892)
- March 19 – James Somerville, British admiral (b. 1882)
- March 25 – Jack Kapp, president of the U.S. branch of Decca Records (b. 1901)
- March 28 – Grigoraș Dinicu, Romanian composer (b. 1889)
- March 30
- April 1 – Evelyn Owen, Australian gun designer (b. 1915)
- April 6 – Seymour Hicks, British actor (b. 1871)
- April 8 – Wilhelm Adam, German general (b. 1877)
- April 15 – Wallace Beery, American actor (b. 1885)
- April 18 – Will Hay, English comedian and actor (b. 1888)
- April 19 – Ulrich Salchow, Swedish figure skater (b. 1877)
- April 22 – Charles Middleton, American actor (b. 1874)
- April 28 – Aurora Quezon, First Lady of the Philippines (shot) (b. 1888)
- May 6 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1862)
- May 9 – Louis II, Prince of Monaco (b. 1870)
- May 19 – Paul Schultze-Naumburg, German architect, painter, publicist and politician (b. 1869)
- May 22
- May 23 – Jan Frans De Boever, Belgian painter (b. 1872)
- May 27 – Robert Ripley, American creator of Ripley's Believe It or Not! (b. 1890)
- June 10
- June 14 – Russell Doubleday, American author and publisher (b. 1872)
- June 19 – Syed Zafarul Hasan, Indian/Pakistani Muslim philosopher (b. 1885)
- June 25 – Buck Freeman, American baseball player (b. 1871)
- July 2 – Georgi Dimitrov, Bulgarian Communist leader and Prime Minister (b. 1882)
- July 9 – Fritz Hart, English-born composer (b. 1874)
- July 12 – Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland (b. 1860)
- July 18 – Vítězslav Novák, Czech composer (b. 1870)
- July 26 – Linda Arvidson, American actress (b. 1884)
- August 5 – Ernest Fourneau, French chemist and pharmacologist (b. 1872)
- August 9
- August 16 – Margaret Mitchell, American writer (b. 1900)
- August 17 – Gregorio Perfecto, Filipino jurist and politician (b. 1891)
- August 18 – Paul Mares, American musician (b. 1900)
- August 23 – Domingo Díaz Arosemena, President of Panama (b. 1875)
- August 30 – Arthur Fielder, English cricketer (b. 1877)
- August 30 –Sevasti Qiriazi, Albanian educator and women's rights activist (b. 1871)
- September 7 – José Clemente Orozco, Mexican painter (b. 1883)
- September 8 – Richard Strauss, German composer (b. 1864)
- September 10 – Wiley Rutledge, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1894)
- September 13 – August Krogh, Danish zoophysiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1874)
- September 14
- September 18 – Frank Morgan, American actor (b. 1890)
- September 19
- September 20 – Richard Dix, American actor (b. 1893)
- September 22 – Sam Wood, American director (b. 1883)
- October 1 – Buddy Clark, American singer (b. 1911)
- October 14 – Fritz Leiber, American actor (b. 1882)
- October 15
- October 23
- October 27
- October 29 – George Gurdjieff, Russian spiritual teacher (b. 1866)
- October 31 – Edward Stettinius, Jr., U.S. Secretary of State (b. 1900)
- November – María Josepha Sophia de Iturbide, head of the Imperial House of Mexico (b. 1872)
- November 2
- November 3 – Solomon R. Guggenheim, American philanthropist (b. 1861)
- November 5 – Abdolhossein Hazhir, 54th Prime Minister of Iran (b. 1899)
- November 11 – Mun Bhuridatta, Thai Buddhist monk (b. 1871)
- November 15 – Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mohandas Gandhi (b. 1910), and his accomplice, Narayan Apte (b. 1911)
- November 19 – James Ensor, Belgian painter (b. 1860)
- November 25 – Bill Robinson, American dancer (b. 1878)
- November 30 – Dame Irene Vanbrugh, English actress (b. 1872)
- December 3
- December 6 – Lead Belly, American blues musician (b. 1888)
- December 7 – Rex Beach, American novelist, playwright, and Olympic water polo player (b. 1877)
- December 11 – Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya, Indian philosopher (b. 1875)
- December 16 – Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (b. 1873)
- December 25 – Leon Schlesinger, American producer and filmmaker (b. 1884)
- December 28 – Hervey Allen, American author (b. 1889)
- December 28 – Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (b. 1910)
- December 31 – Raimond Valgre, Estonian composer and musician (b. 1913)
- Physics – Yukawa Hideki
- Chemistry – William Francis Giauque
- Medicine – Walter Rudolf Hess and António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz
- Literature – William Faulkner
- Peace – John Boyd Orr
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- "Year by Year 1949" – History Channel International.
- From Harding to Hiroshima by Barrington Boardman (1988), p. 14. ISBN 0-934878-94-3
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