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- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Nobel Prizes
- 5 References
- 6 Music
- January 1
- The Saarland joins West Germany.
- An Irish Republican Army attack on the Brookeborough police barracks in Northern Ireland leads to the deaths of Seán South and Fergal O'Hanlon.
- Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini suffers the stroke that leads to his death a little over two weeks later in the United States.
- January 2 – The San Francisco and Los Angeles stock exchanges merge to form the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange.
- January 3 – Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch.
- January 4 – After 69 years the last issue of Collier's Weekly magazine is published in the United States.
- January 5 – Russell Endean becomes the first batsman to be dismissed for having handled the ball in Test cricket.
- January 6 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the 3rd and final time. He is shown only from the waist up, even during the gospel segment, singing "Peace In The Valley". Ed Sullivan describes Elvis thus: "This is a real decent, fine boy. We've never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we've had with you. You're thoroughly all right."
- January 9 – British Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigns.
- January 10 – Harold Macmillan becomes the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- January 11 – The African Convention is founded in Dakar.
- January 13 – Wham-O Company produces the first Frisbee.
- January 14
- January 15 – Release, in Japan, of the film Throne of Blood, Akira Kurosawa's reworking of Macbeth.
- January 16 – The Cavern Club opens in Liverpool as a jazz club.
- January 20
- Dwight D. Eisenhower is privately sworn in for a second term as President of the United States.
- Israel withdraws from the Sinai Peninsula (captured from Egypt on October 29, 1956).
- The New York City "Mad Bomber", George P. Metesky, is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut, and charged with planting more than 30 bombs.
- January 23 – Ku Klux Klan members force truck driver Willie Edwards to jump off a bridge into the Alabama River; he drowns as a result.
- January 21 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower is publicly sworn in.
- January 26 – The Ibirapuera Planetarium (the first in the Southern Hemisphere) is inaugurated in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.
- January 31 – Three students on a junior high school playground in Pacoima, California, are among the 8 persons killed following a mid-air collision between a Douglas DC-7 airliner and a Northrop F-89 Scorpion fighter jet, in the skies above the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles, U.S.
- February 2 – President Iskander Mirza of Pakistan lays the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage across the Indus River near Sukkur.
- February 4
- France prohibits U.N. involvement in Algeria.
- The first nuclear-powered submarine, the Template:Ship, logs its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne's 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It is decommissioned on March 3, 1980.
- A coal gas explosion at the giant Bishop coal mine in Bishop, Virginia, kills 37 men.
- February 6 – The Soviet Union announces that Swedish envoy Raoul Wallenberg had died in a Soviet prison "possibly of a heart attack" on July 17, 1947.
- February 10 – The Confederation of African Football is founded at a meeting in Khartoum.
- February 15 – Andrei Gromyko becomes foreign minister of the Soviet Union.
- February 16
- February 17 – A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri, kills 72 people.
- February 18
- February 23 – The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc opens in Dakar.
- February 25 – The Boy In The Box is discovered along a sidewalk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The murder victim is described as Caucasian in appearance and 4 to 6 years old; the case is never solved.
- February 28 – Gaston, a French comic strip, is introduced.
- March 1
- U Nu becomes Prime Minister of Burma.
- Arturo Lezama becomes President of the National Council of Government of Uruguay.
- Sud Aviation forms from a merger between SNCASE (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud Est) and SNCASO (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud Ouest).
- Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat is published in the United States.
- March 3 – Net als toen sung by Corry Brokken (music by Guus Jansen, lyrics by Willy van Hemert) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1957 (held at Frankfurt) for the Netherlands.
- March 4 – Standard & Poor's first publishes the S&P 500 Index in the United States.
- March 6
- March 7 – The United States Congress approves the Eisenhower Doctrine on assistance to threatened foreign regimes.
- March 8 – Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal.
- March 10 – Floodgates of The Dalles Dam are closed, inundating Celilo Falls and ancient Indian fisheries along the Columbia River in Oregon.
- March 13
- March 14 – President Sukarno declares martial law in Indonesia.
- March 17 – 1957 Cebu Douglas C-47 crash: Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others are killed in a plane crash.
- March 20 – The French news magazine L'Express reveals that the French army tortures Algerian prisoners.
- March 25
- The Treaty of Rome (Patto di Roma) establishes the European Economic Community (EEC; predecessor of the European Union) between Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
- Copies of Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems (first published November 1, 1956) printed in England are seized by United States Customs Service officials in San Francisco on the grounds of obscenity. On October 3, in People v. Ferlinghetti, a subsequent prosecution of publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the work is ruled not to be obscene.
- March 26 – 22-year-old Elvis Presley buys Graceland on 3734 Bellevue Boulevard (Highway 51 South) for $US100,000. He and his family move from the house on 1034 Audubon Drive.
- March 27 – The 29th Academy Awards ceremony is held in Hollywood. Around the World in 80 Days wins Best Picture.
- March 31 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, the team's only musical written especially for television, is telecast live and in color by CBS in the United States, starring Julie Andrews in the title role. The production is seen by millions, but this 1957 version is not to be telecast again for more than 40 years, when a kinescope of it is shown.
- April – IBM sells the first compiler for the Fortran scientific programming language.
- April 1 – The first new conscripts join the Bundeswehr.
- April 5 – The Communist Party of India wins the elections in Kerala, making E. M. S. Namboodiripad its first chief minister.
- April 9 – Egypt reopens the Suez Canal to all shipping.
- April 12 – The United Kingdom announces that Singapore will gain self-rule on January 1, 1958.
- April 15
- April 17 – Suspected English serial killer Dr. John Bodkin Adams is found not guilty of murder at the Old Bailey.
- April 24 – First broadcast of BBC Television astronomy series The Sky at Night in the U.K., presented by Patrick Moore. This will run with the same presenter until his death in December 2012.
- April 24–25 – 1957 Fethiye earthquakes on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
- May 2 – Vincent Gigante fails to assassinate mafioso Frank Costello in Manhattan.
- May 3 – Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles.
- May 15.
- May 16 – Paul-Henri Spaak becomes the new Secretary General of NATO.
- May 22 – 42,000-pound hydrogen bomb accidentally falls from a bomber near Albuquerque
- May 24 – Anti-American riots erupt in Taipei, Taiwan.
- May 30 – Real Madrid beats Fiorentina 2-0 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid to win the 1956–57 European Cup (football).
- June 1 – Three-year-old thoroughbred Gallant Man wins the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park.
- June 9 – Broad Peak, on the China-Pakistan border, is first ascended.
- June 15 – Oklahoma celebrates its semi-centennial statehood. A brand new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere is buried in a time capsule (to be opened 50 years later on June 15, 2007).
- June 15 – Gallant Man wins the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in record time.
- June 20 – Toru Takemitsu's Requiem for Strings is first performed, by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.
- June 21 – John Diefenbaker becomes the 13th Prime Minister of Canada.
- June 25 – The United Church of Christ is formed in Cleveland, Ohio, by the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
- June 27 – Hurricane Audrey demolishes Cameron, Louisiana, U.S., killing 400 people.
- July 6 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney first meet as teenagers at a garden fete at St. Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool, England, at which Lennon's skiffle group, The Quarrymen, is playing, 3 years before forming The Beatles.
- July 9 – Elvis Presley's Loving You opens in theaters.
- July 11 – His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan becomes the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims at age 20. His grandfather Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan III appoints Prince Karim in his will.
- July 14 – Rawya Ateya takes her seat in the National Assembly of Egypt, thereby becoming the first female parliamentarian in the Arab world.
- July 16 – United States Marine Major John Glenn flies an F8U supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record.
- July 25 – Tunisia becomes a republic, with Habib Bourguiba its first president.
- July 28
- July 29 – The International Atomic Energy Agency is established.
- August 4 – Juan Manuel Fangio, driving for Maserati, wins the Formula One German Grand Prix, clinching (with 4 wins this season) his record 5th world drivers championship, including his 4th consecutive championship (also a record); these 2 records endure for nearly half a century.
- August 5 – American Bandstand, a local dance show produced by WFIL-TV in Philadelphia, joins the ABC Television Network.
- August 21 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces a 2-year suspension of nuclear testing.
- August 28 – United States Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC) sets the record for the longest filibuster with his 24-hour, 18-minute speech railing against a civil rights bill.
- August 31 – The Federation of Malaya gains independence from the United Kingdom, subsequently celebrated as Malaysia's National Day. Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan becomes the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaya. The country's new Constitution came into force on August 27.
- September 1 – 175 die in Jamaica's worst railway disaster.
- September 3 – The Wolfenden report on homosexuality is published in the United Kingdom.
- September 4
- African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68): Little Rock Crisis – Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas calls out the National Guard of the United States to prevent African-American students from enrolling in Little Rock Central High School.
- The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel on what the company proclaims as "E Day".
- September 5 – The first edition of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road goes on sale in the United States.
- September 7 – NBC introduces an animated version of its famous "living color" peacock logo.
- September 9
- September 14 – Have Gun – Will Travel premieres on CBS.
- September 21
- September 23 – The Academy Award-winning movie The Three Faces of Eve is released.
- September 24
- U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends federal troops to Arkansas to provide safe passage into Little Rock Central High School for the "Little Rock Nine".
- Camp Nou Stadium, as known well for professional football stadium in Europe, officially opened in Barcelona, Spain.Script error: No such module "Unsubst".
- September 26 – Leonard Bernstein's musical West Side Story makes its first appearance on Broadway and runs for 732 performances.
- September 29 – The Kyshtym disaster occurs at the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant in Russia.
- October 2 – David Lean's film The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in the U.K.
- October 4
- October 9 – Neil H. McElroy is sworn in as United States Secretary of Defense.
- October 10
- U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologizes to the finance minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, after he is refused service in a Dover, Delaware, restaurant.
- Windscale fire: Fire at the Windscale nuclear reactor on the north-west coast of England releases radioactive material into the surrounding environment, including iodine-131.
- October 11
- October 12 – Ayn Rand's fourth, last and longest novel, Atlas Shrugged, is published in the United States.
- October 16 – Antônio Vilas Boas, a Brazilian farmer, claims to have been abducted by extraterrestrials; the first famous alien abduction case.
- October 21
- October 23 – Morocco begins its invasion of Ifni.
- October 25 – Mafia boss Albert Anastasia is assassinated in a barber shop, at the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City.
- October 27 – Celâl Bayar is re-elected president of Turkey.
- October 31 – Toyota begins exporting vehicles to the United States, beginning with the Toyota Crown and the Toyota Land Cruiser
- November 1
- November 3 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2, with the first animal to orbit the Earth (a dog named Laika) on board; there is no technology available to return it to Earth.
- November 7 – Cold War: In the United States, the Gaither Report calls for more American missiles and fallout shelters.
- November 8 – Film Jailhouse Rock opens across the U.S. to reach #3, and Elvis Presley continues to gain more notoriety.
- November 13
- November 14 – Apalachin Meeting: American Mafia leaders meet in Apalachin, New York at the house of Joseph Barbara; the meeting is broken up by a curious patrolman.
- November 15
- November 16
- November 30 – Indonesian president Sukarno survives a grenade attack at the Cikini School in Jakarta, but six children are killed.
- December 1 – In Indonesia, Sukarno announces the nationalization of 246 Dutch businesses.
- December 4 – The Lewisham rail crash in London leaves 92 dead.
- December 5 – All 326,000 Dutch nationals are expelled from Indonesia.
- December 6 – The first U.S. attempt to launch a satellite fails when the Vanguard rocket blows up on the launch pad.
- December 10 – Canadian diplomat Lester B. Pearson receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his peacekeeping efforts in the United Nations.
- December 18 – The Bridge on the River Kwai is released in the U.S. It goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Additional Oscars go to Alec Guinness (Best Actor) and David Lean (Best Director), among others. This is Lean's first Oscar for directing.
- December 19 – Meredith Willson's classic musical The Music Man, starring Robert Preston, debuts on Broadway.
- December 20 – The Boeing 707 airliner flies for the first time.
- December 22 – The CBS afternoon anthology series The Seven Lively Arts presents Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker on U.S. television for the first time, although heavily abridged.
- Mao Zedong admits that 800,000 "class enemies" have been summarily liquidated in China between 1949 and 1954.
- Expected date for Operation Dropshot, an all-out U.S. war with the Soviet Union, triggered by a Soviet takeover of Western Europe, the Near East and parts of Eastern Asia which does not materialize, as prepared for by the United States Department of Defense in 1949.
- Gruppe SPUR, an artistic collaboration, is founded in Germany.
- The so-called 'mound of Midas', the Great Tumulus near Gordium, is excavated.
- Three new neo-grotesque sans-serif typefaces are released: Folio (designed by Konrad Bauer and Walter Baum), Neue Haas Grotesk (designed by Max Miedinger) and Univers (designed by Adrian Frutiger); all will be influential in the International Typographic Style of graphic design.
- January 1 – Ewa Kasprzyk, Polish actress
- January 3 – Bojan Križaj, Slovenian alpine skier
- January 4 – Charles Allen, British television magnate
- January 6 – Nancy Lopez, American golfer
- January 7
- January 8
- January 9 – Bibie, Ghanaian singer
- January 11
- January 12 – John Lasseter, American director, writer and animator
- January 13
- January 14
- January 15
- January 16 – Ricardo Darín, Argentinian actor
- January 17
- January 21 – Greg Ryan, American soccer coach
- January 22
- January 23 – Princess Caroline of Monaco
- January 24 – Adrian Edmondson, British comedian
- January 26 – Richard Portnow, American Actor
- January 27
- January 29 – Grażyna Miller, Polish poet
- January 30 – Payne Stewart, American golfer (d. 1999)
- February 1 – Ranae Jacobs voice actress
- February 2 – Phil Barney, French singer
- February 4 – Elaine Carbines, Member of the Australian Labor Party
- February 5 – Jackie Woodburne, Australian actress
- February 6 – Kathy Najimy, American actress and comedian
- February 8 – Cindy Wilson, American rock singer (The B-52's)
- February 9 – Gordon Strachan, Scottish footballer and manager
- February 11 – Mitchell Symons, British writer
- February 14 – Soile Isokoski, Finnish lyric soprano
- February 15 – Shahriar Mandanipour, Iranian writer
- February 16 – LeVar Burton, American actor
- February 17 – Loreena McKennitt, Canadian singer, composer, harpist
- February 18
- February 19
- February 20 – Glen Hanlon, Canadian ice hockey coach
- February 23 – Ria Brieffies, Dutch singer (d. 2009)
- February 27
- February 28
- March 3 – Eric Walters, Canadian author
- March 4
- March 8
- March 9 – Mona Sahlin, Swedish politician
- March 10
- March 12 – Marlon Jackson, American singer
- March 15
- March 17 – Mal Donaghy, Northern Irish footballer
- March 18 – György Pazdera, Hungarian rock bassist (Pokolgép)
- March 20
- March 23
- March 24 – Jack Edwards, American play-by-play announcer
- March 26 – Leeza Gibbons, American television personality
- March 29 – Christopher Lambert, French actor
- March 30
- March 31
- April 1
- April 2 – Giuliana De Sio, Italian actress
- April 4 – Aki Kaurismäki, Finnish film director
- April 5 – Ivan Corea, Sri Lankan autism campaigner
- April 7 – Simon Climie, English singer-songwriter (Climie Fisher)
- April 8 – Henry Cluney, Irish musician
- April 9 – Seve Ballesteros, Spanish golfer (d. 2011)
- April 11
- April 12 – Suzzanne Douglas, American actress
- April 14 – Mikhail Pletnev, Russian pianist, conductor and composer
- April 17 – Susan Roman, Canadian voice actress
- April 18 – Genie, American feral child
- April 21
- April 22 – Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland
- April 23
- April 25 – Eric Bristow, English darts player
- April 27 – Michel Barrette, Canadian actor and stand-up comedian
- April 28 – Dinorah de Jesús Rodriguez, Cuban-born experimental filmmaker
- April 29 – Daniel Day-Lewis, English-born actor
- May 2 – Michael Coyle, American composer
- May 3
- May 5 – Richard E. Grant, English actor
- May 6 – Mbah Surip, Indonesian Singer (d. 2009)
- May 10 – Sid Vicious, English rock bassist (Sex Pistols) (d. 1979)
- May 14 – Daniela Dessi, Italian opera singer (d. 2016)
- May 15 – Juan José Ibarretxe, Basque Lehendakari (Prime Minister)
- May 16 – Joan Benoit, American Olympic gold medal-winning marathon runner
- May 17 – Gösta Sundqvist, Finnish rock singer and songwriter (Leevi and the Leavings) (d. 2003)
- May 18
- May 20
- May 21
- May 22
- May 23 – Jimmy McShane (aka Baltimora), Northern Irish dancer (d. 1995)
- May 24 – Walter Moers, German comic artist and writer
- May 24 – John Rowland, U.S. Republican politician, Governor of Connecticut
- May 26
- May 27 – Siouxsie Sioux, British rock singer (Siouxsie and the Banshees)
- May 28 – Kirk Gibson, American baseball player
- May 29
- June 1 – Dorota Kędzierzawska, Polish film director
- June 3 – Horst-Ulrich Hänel, German field hockey player
- June 6 – Jessica Diamond, American artist
- June 7 – Juan Luis Guerra, Dominican singer and songwriter
- June 8
- June 10 – Hidetsugu Aneha, Japanese architect
- June 12
- June 14
- June 15 – Seppo Pääkkönen, Finnish actor
- June 19 – Anna Lindh, Swedish politician (d. 2003)
- June 23 – Frances McDormand, American actress
- June 28
- June 29 – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, President of Turkmenistan
- July 1 – Hannu Kamppuri, Finnish ice hockey player
- July 2 – Bret Hart, Canadian professional wrestler
- July 3
- July 9
- July 10 – Cindy Sheehan, American anti-war activist
- July 12 – Götz Alsmann, German television presenter, musician and singer
- July 13 – Cameron Crowe, American writer and film director
- July 17 – Fern Britton, British television presenter
- July 18 – Nick Faldo, British golfer
- July 21 – Jon Lovitz, American comedian and actor
- July 23 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch film director (d. 2004)
- July 24
- July 26
- July 27
- July 29 – Nellie Kim, Russian gymnast
- July 31 – Shan Goshorn, Cherokee artist
- August 2
- August 4 – John Wark, Scottish footballer
- August 5 – Clayton Rohner, American actor
- August 6 – Jim McGreevey, 52nd Governor of New Jersey
- August 7 – Alexander Dityatin, Soviet gymnast
- August 9 – Melanie Griffith, American actress
- August 10 – Juli Básti, Hungarian actress
- August 11 – Richie Ramone, American rock drummer (Ramones)
- August 14 – Peter Costello, Australian politician
- August 15 – Željko Ivanek, Slovenian-American actor
- August 16
- August 17 – Robin Cousins, British figure skater
- August 18
- August 19 – Li-Young Lee, Indonesian-born poet
- August 20 – Finlay Calder, Scottish rugby player
- August 22 – Steve Davis, British snooker player
- August 24 – Stephen Fry, British comedian, author and actor
- August 25 – Simon McBurney, British actor, writer and theatre director
- August 26
- August 27 – Bernhard Langer, German golfer
- August 28
- August 29
- August 30 – Manu Tuiasosopo, American football player
- August 31 – Ingrid Washinawatok, Native American activist (d. 1999)
- September 1 – Gloria Estefan, Cuban-born American singer
- September 7
- September 8
- September 11
- September 12
- September 13 – Vinny Appice, American drummer
- September 15 – Brad Bird, American animator and director
- September 16 – David McCreery, Irish footballer
- September 19 – Chris Roupas, Greek-American basketball player
- September 20 – Sabine Christiansen, German journalist and television presenter
- September 21
- September 22 – Nick Cave, Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter and actor
- September 26 – Luigi De Canio, Italian footballer and football manager
- September 27 – Peter Sellars, American theatre director
- September 28 – Luis Cluzeau Mortet, Uruguayan composer and musician
- September 29 – Andrew Dice Clay, American comedian
- September 30 – Fran Drescher, American actress
- October 4 – Aleksandr Tkachyov, Soviet gymnast
- October 5 – Bernie Mac, American stand-up comedian and actor (d. 2008)
- October 7
- October 8 – Ewan Stewart, Scottish actor
- October 10 – Rumiko Takahashi, Japanese manga artist
- October 11 – Dawn French, British comedian
- October 14 – Kenny Neal, American guitarist
- October 15 – Stacy Peralta, American director and skateboarder
- October 21 – Wolfgang Ketterle, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- October 23 – Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda
- October 25 – Nancy Cartwright, American voice actress
- October 26
- October 27 – Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwanese film director
- October 29 – Dan Castellaneta, American voice actor (Homer Simpson from 'The Simpsons')
- October 30 – Richard Jeni, American comedian (d. 2007)
- October 31
- November 3 – Dolph Lundgren, Swedish actor and martial artist
- November 4 – Tony Abbott, 28th Prime Minister of Australia
- November 5 – Jon-Erik Hexum, American actor (d. 1984)
- November 6
- November 7 – Christopher Knight, American actor
- November 13 – Roger Ingram, American jazz musician, author, educator, trumpet designer
- November 14 – Gregg Burge, American tap dancer and choreographer (d. 1998)
- November 15 – Kevin Eubanks, American jazz guitarist
- November 17 – Debbie Thrower, English TV news presenter
- November 18 – Olivia Heussler, Swiss photojournalist
- November 19 – Ofra Haza, Israeli singer (d. 2000)
- November 20
- November 24 – Denise Crosby, American actress
- November 26 – Matthias Reim, German singer-songwriter
- November 27
- November 30 – Colin Mochrie, Scottish-born Canadian comedian
- December 3 – Maxim Korobov, Russian businessman & politician
- December 4 – Eric S. Raymond, American open source software advocate
- December 6
- December 9
- December 10
- December 13 – Steve Buscemi, American actor
- December 15
- December 17
- December 19 – Kevin McHale, American basketball player
- December 20
- December 21
- December 24 – Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan
- December 25 – Shane MacGowan, Irish singer and songwriter (The Pogues)
- December 30
- January 4 – Theodor Körner, Austrian statesman, president of the Republic (b. 1873)
- January 10 – Gabriela Mistral, Chilean writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1889)
- January 13 – A. E. Coppard, English writer (b. 1878)
- January 11 – Jack Gilbert Graham, American mass murderer (executed) (b. 1932)
- January 14 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (b. 1899)
- January 16 – Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor (b. 1867)
- January 20 – James Connolly, American athlete (b. 1868)
- January 26
- February 1 – Friedrich Paulus, German field marshal (b. 1890)
- February 8
- February 9
- February 10 – Laura Ingalls Wilder, American author (b. 1867)
- February 16 – Josef Hofmann, Polish-born pianist and composer (b. 1876)
- February 18
- February 19 – Märta Torén, Swedish actress (b. 1926)
- February 23 – Marika Ninou, Greek singer (b. 1918)
- February 25
- March 5 – William Cameron Menzies, American film production designer (b. 1896)
- March 6 – Alexander Godley, British general (b. 1867)
- March 7 – Wyndham Lewis, English painter (b. 1882)
- March 8 – János Esterházy, Hungarian politician in Czechoslovakia (b. 1901)
- March 11 – Richard E. Byrd, American explorer (b. 1888)
- March 12 – Josephine Hull, American actress (b. 1886)
- March 14 – Eugenio Castellotti, Italian racing driver (car crash) (b. 1930)
- March 16 – Constantin Brâncuși, Romanian sculptor (b. 1876)
- March 17 – Ramon Magsaysay, President of the Philippines (air crash) (b. 1907)
- March 25 – Max Ophüls, German film director and writer (b. 1902)
- March 29
- March 31 – Gene Lockhart, Canadian actor (b. 1891)
- April 3 – Ned Sparks, Canadian character actor (b. 1883)
- April 4 – E. Herbert Norman, Canadian diplomat (b. 1909)
- April 5 – Alagappa Chettiar, Indian philanthropist (b. 1909)
- April 8 – Dorothy Sebastian, American actress (b. 1903)
- April 15 – Pedro Infante, Mexican actor and singer (b. 1917)
- April 16 – Johnny Torrio, Italian-American gangster (b. 1882)
- April 23 – Roy Campbell, South African poet (b. 1901)
- April 26 – Elinor Fair, American actress (b. 1903)
- May 1 – Grant Mitchell, American actor (b. 1874)
- May 2 – Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator (b. 1908)
- May 7 – Wilhelm Filchner, German explorer (b. 1877)
- May 9 – Ezio Pinza, Italian bass (b. 1892)
- May 12 – Erich von Stroheim, Austrian actor and director (b. 1885)
- May 13
- May 14 – Marie Vassilieff, Russian artist (b. 1884)
- May 16 – Eliot Ness, American policeman (b. 1903)
- May 29 – James Whale, English film director (b. 1889)
- May 31 – Leopold Staff, Polish poet (b. 1878)
- June 1
- June 12
- June 13 – Irving Baxter, American athlete (b. 1876)
- June 15 – Princess Norina Matchabelli, Italian perfumier (b. 1880)
- June 17 – Dorothy Richardson, English feminist writer (b. 1873)
- June 21 – Johannes Stark, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874)
- June 26 – Alfred Döblin, German writer (b. 1878)
- June 27
- July 3
- July 8 – Grace Coolidge, First Lady of the United States (b. 1879)
- July 11 – Aga Khan III, 48th Nizari Imam (b. 1877)
- July 15
- July 23 – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Sicilian writer (b. 1896)
- July 24
- July 28
- August 5 – Heinrich Otto Wieland, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
- August 7 – Oliver Hardy, American actor (b. 1892)
- August 16 – Irving Langmuir, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1881)
- August 19 – David Bomberg, Vorticist painter (b. 1890)
- August 20 – Julio Lozano Díaz, President of Honduras (b. 1885)
- August 21 – Mait Metsanurk, Estonian writer (b. 1879)
- August 30 – Harold Gatty, Australian aviator (b. 1903)
- September 1 – Dennis Brain, English French horn player (b. 1921) (car crash)
- September 2 – Bobby Myers, American NASCAR driver (b. 1927)
- September 9 – Muhammad al-Muqri, grand vizier of Morocco (b. ?1844)
- September 16 – Qi Baishi, Chinese painter (b. 1864)
- September 20 – Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer (b. 1865)
- September 21 – Haakon VII of Norway (b. 1872)
- September 22 – Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral (b. 1885)
- September 28 – Luis Cluzeau Mortet, Uruguayan composer and musician (b. 1888)
- October 3 – Lőrinc Szabó, Hungarian poet (b. 1900)
- October 19 – Vere Gordon Childe, Australian archaeologist (b. 1892)
- October 20 – Jack Buchanan, British actor (b. 1891)
- October 24
- October 25
- October 26 – Gerty Cori, Austrian-born biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1896)
- October 27 – Giovanni Battista Caproni, Italian aeronautical, civil and electrical engineer, aircraft designer and industrialist (b. 1886)
- October 29 – Louis B. Mayer, American film studio mogul, former head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) (b. 1885)
- November 2 – Ted Meredith, American Olympic athlete (b. 1891)
- November 3
- November 4
- November 7 – Hasui Kawase, Japanese painter and printmaker (b. 1883)
- November 11 – Masao Maruyama, Japanese general (b. 1889)
- November 17 – Cora Witherspoon, American actress (b. 1890)
- November 18 – Rudolf Diels, German Nazi civil servant and Gestapo chief (b. 1900)
- November 24 – Diego Rivera, Mexican painter (b. 1886)
- November 25
- November 26 – Billy Bevan, Australian actor (b. 1887)
- November 29 – Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Austrian composer (b. 1897)
- November 30 – Beniamino Gigli, Italian tenor (b. 1890)
- December 2 – Harrison Ford, American silent film actor (b. 1884)
- December 4 – John Lavarack, Australian general, Governor of Queensland (1946-1957) (b. 1885)
- December 8 – Reginald Sheffield, English actor (b. 1901)
- December 10 – Maurice McLoughlin, American tennis champion (b. 1890)
- December 10 – Napoleon Zervas, Greek WW II Resistance leader (b. 1891)
- December 11 – Musidora, French actress (b. 1889)
- December 17 – Dorothy L. Sayers, British crime writer, poet, playwright and essayist (b. 1893)
- December 21 – Eric Coates, English composer (b. 1886)
- December 24 – Norma Talmadge, American actress (b. 1894)
- December 25
- Physics – Chen-Ning Yang, Tsung-Dao Lee
- Chemistry – Lord Alexander R. Todd
- Physiology or Medicine – Daniel Bovet
- Literature – Albert Camus
- Peace – Lester Bowles Pearson
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