|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1930s 1940s 1950s – 1960s – 1970s 1980s 1990s|
|Years:||1958 1959 1960 – 1961 – 1962 1963 1964|
|1961 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2714|
|British Regnal year||9 Eliz. 2 – 10 Eliz. 2|
— to —辛丑年十一月廿四日
|- Vikram Samvat||2017–2018|
|- Shaka Samvat||1883–1884|
|- Kali Yuga||5062–5063|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||961–962|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 36
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 50
|Thai solar calendar||2504|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1961|
Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. As MAD Magazine pointed out on its cover for the March 1961 issue, this was the first "upside-up" year—i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down—since 1881.
- January 3
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces that the United States has severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.
- At the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho, atomic reactor SL-1 explodes, killing 3 military technicians.
- Aero Flight 311 (Koivulahti air disaster): Douglas DC-3C OH-LCC of Finnish airline Aero crashes near Kvevlax (Koivulahti) on approach to Vaasa Airport in Finland killing all 25 on board, due to pilot error: an investigation finds that the captain and first officer were both exhausted for lack of sleep and had taken excessive alcohol at the time of the crash. It remains the deadliest air disaster to occur in the country.
- January 5
- January 7 – Following a 4-day conference in Casablanca, 5 African chiefs of state announce plans for a NATO-type African organization to ensure common defense. The Charter of Casablanca involves the Casablanca Group: Morocco, the United Arab Republic, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali.
- January 8 – In France, a referendum supports Charles de Gaulle's policies on independence for Algeria.
- January 9 – British authorities announce that they have discovered a large Soviet spy ring in London.
- January 17
- January 20 – John F. Kennedy succeeds Dwight Eisenhower as the 35th President of the United States of America.
- January 24 – B-52 Stratofortress, with two nuclear bombs, crashes near Goldsboro, North Carolina.
- January 25
- In Washington, DC President John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential news conference. In it, he announces that the Soviet Union has freed the 2 surviving crewmen of a USAF RB-47 reconnaissance plane shot down by Soviet flyers over the Barents Sea July 1, 1960 (see RB-47H shot down).
- Acting to halt 'leftist excesses,' a junta composed of 2 army officers and 4 civilians takes over El Salvador, ousting another junta that had ruled for 3 months.
- January 26 – President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician, the first woman to hold this appointment.
- January 30 – President John F. Kennedy delivers his first State of the Union Address.
- January 31 – Ham the Chimp, a 37-pound (17-kg) male, is rocketed into space aboard Mercury-Redstone 2, in a test of the Project Mercury capsule, designed to carry United States astronauts into space.
- February 1 – The United States launches its first test of the Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile.
- February 3 – China buys grain from Canada for $60 million.
- February 4 – The Portuguese Colonial War begins in Angola.
- February 5 – February 9 – In Congo, President Joseph Kasavubu names Joseph Iléo as the new Prime Minister.
- February 9 – The Beatles perform for the first time at the Cavern Club.
- February 12 – The U.S.S.R. launches Venera 1 towards Venus.
- February 13 – The Congo government announces that villagers have killed Patrice Lumumba.
- February 14 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized in Berkeley, California.
- February 15
- President Kennedy warns the Soviet Union to avoid interfering with the United Nations pacification of the Congo.
- A Sabena Boeing 707 crashes near Brussels, Belgium, killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team and several coaches.
- A total solar eclipse occurs in southern part of Europe
- February 25 – The last public trams in Sydney, Australia, cease operation, bringing to an end the Southern Hemisphere's largest tramway network.
- February 26 – Hassan II is pronounced King of Morocco.
- March–April – Drilling for Project Mohole is undertaken off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
- March 1 – President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
- March 3 – Hassan II is crowned King of Morocco.
- March 8
- March 13
- Black and white £5 notes cease to be legal tender in the UK.
- A dam burst in Kiev, USSR, killing 145.
- United States delegate to the United Nations Security Council Adlai Stevenson votes against Portuguese policies in Africa.
- President of the United States John F. Kennedy proposes a long-term "Alliance for Progress" between the United States and Latin America.
- Cyprus joins the Commonwealth of Nations, becoming the first small country in the Commonwealth.
- Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, takes in its first students.
- March 15
- March 18
- March 29 – The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.
- March 30 – The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.
- April 5 – The New Guinea Council of Western Papua is installed.
- April 8 – The British passenger ship Dara blows up and sinks off Dubai. 238 passengers and crew are killed.
- April 11 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.
- April 12
- April 13 – In Portugal, a coup attempt against António de Oliveira Salazar fails.
- April 17
- April 18 – Portugal sends to Angola its first military reinforcement.
- April 20 – Fidel Castro announces that the Bay of Pigs invasion has been defeated.
- April 22 – Algiers putsch: Four French generals who oppose de Gaulle's policies in Algeria fail in a coup attempt.
- April 23 – Judy Garland performs in a legendary comeback concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- April 24 – The Swedish ship Regalskeppet Vasa is removed from the water after being sunk 333 years earlier.
- April 27
- May 4 – U.S. Freedom Riders begin interstate bus rides to test the new U.S. Supreme Court integration decision.
- May 5 – Mercury program: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space aboard Mercury-Redstone 3.
- May 6 – Tottenham Hotspur F.C. becomes the first team in the 20th century to win the English league and cup double. This being the last time Tottenham won the English League.
- May 8 – Briton George Blake is sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for spying.
- May 9 - In a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, FCC chairman Newton N. Minow describes commercial television programming as a "vast wasteland".
- May 14 – American civil rights movement: A Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob.
- May 15 – Heinrich Matthaei alone performs the Poly-U-Experiment and is the first human to recognize and understand the genetic code. This is the birthdate of modern genetics.
- May 16 – Park Chung Hee takes over in a military coup in South Korea.
- May 19 – Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (however, the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and does not send back any data).
- May 21 – American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
- May 22 – An Earthquake rocks New South Wales.
- May 24 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" after disembarking from their bus.
- May 25 – Apollo program: President Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.
- May 27 – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Prime Minister of Malaya, holds a press conference in Singapore, announcing his idea to form the Federation of Malaysia, comprising Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo (Sabah).
- May 28 – Peter Benenson's article "The Forgotten Prisoners" is published in several internationally read newspapers. This is later considered the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
- May 30 – Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, totalitarian despot of the Dominican Republic since 1930, is killed in an ambush, putting an end to the second longest-running dictatorship in Latin American history.
- May 31
- June 1 – Ethiopia experiences its most devastating earthquake of the 20th century, with a magnitude of 6.7. The town of Majete is destroyed, 45% of the houses in Karakore collapse, 17 kilometers (11 mi) of the main road north of Karakore are damaged by landslides and fissures, and 5,000 inhabitants in the area are left homeless.
- June 4 – Vienna summit: John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev meet during 2 days in Vienna. They discuss nuclear tests, disarmament and Germany.
- June 16 – Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests asylum in France while in Paris with the Kirov Ballet.
- June 17
- June 19 – The British protectorate ends in Kuwait and it becomes an emirate.
- June 22 – Moise Tshombe is released for lack of evidence of connection to the murder of Patrice Lumumba.
- June 23 – Antarctic Treaty comes into effect.
- June 25 – Iraqi president Abdul Karim Kassem announces he is going to annex Kuwait.
- June 27 – Kuwait requests British help; the United Kingdom sends in troops.
- July 4 – The Soviet submarine K-19 reactor leak occurs in the North Atlantic.
- July 5 – The first Israeli rocket, Shavit 2, is launched.
- July 8 – A mine explosion in Czechoslovakia leaves 108 dead.
- July 12 – A Czechoslovakian Ilyushin Il-18 crashes while attempting to land at Casablanca, Morocco, killing all 72 persons on board.
- July 21 – Mercury program: Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space (sub-orbital). Upon splashdown, the hatch prematurely opens, and the capsule sinks (it is recovered in 1999).
- July 25 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives a widely watched TV speech on the Berlin crisis, warning "we will not be driven out of Berlin." Kennedy urges Americans to build fallout shelters, setting off a four-month debate on civil defense.
- July 31
- At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs, when the game is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain (the only tie until 2002 in MLB All-Star Game history).
- Ireland submits the first ever application to join the then European Economic Community.
- August – USA founds Alliance for Progress.
- August 1 – The Six Flags over Texas theme park officially opens to the public.
- August 6 – Vostok 2: Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov becomes the second human to orbit the Earth, and the first to be in outer space for more than one day.
- August 7 – Vostok 2 with Titov onboard lands in Soviet Union.
- August 10 – Britain applies for membership in the European Economic Community.
- August 13 – Construction of the Berlin Wall begins, restricting movement between East Berlin and West Berlin and forming a clear boundary between West Germany and East Germany, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
- August 21 – Jomo Kenyatta is released from prison in Kenya.
- August 31 – Construction of the Berlin Wall is completed after just 18 days.
- September 1
- The Eritrean War of Independence officially begins with the shooting of the Ethiopian police by Hamid Idris Awate.
- First meeting held of the Non-Aligned Movement. The Soviet Union resumes nuclear testing, escalating fears over the ongoing Berlin crisis.
- September 7 – Tom and Jerry make a return with their first episode since 1957, Switchin' Kitten. The new creator, Gene Deitch makes 12 more Tom and Jerry episodes until 1962.
- September 10 – During the F1 Italian Grand Prix on the circuit of Monza, German Wolfgang Von Trips, driving a Ferrari, crashes into a stand, killing 14 spectators and himself.
- September 14
- September 17 – Military rulers in Turkey hang former prime minister Adnan Menderes.
- September 18 – United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in an air crash en route to Katanga, Congo.
- September 21 – In France, the OAS slips an anti-de Gaulle message into TV programming.
- September 24
- The old Deutsche Opernhaus in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg is returned to its newly rebuilt house as the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
- In the U.S., the Walt Disney anthology television series, renamed Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, moves from ABC to NBC after seven years on the air, and begins telecasting its programs in color for the first time. Years later, after Disney's death, the still-on-the-air program will be renamed The Wonderful World of Disney.
- September 28 – A military coup in Damascus, Syria effectively ends the United Arab Republic, the union between Egypt and Syria.
- September 30 – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) formed to replace the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC).
- October 1 – Baseball player Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run in the last game of the season, against the Boston Red Sox, beating the 34-year-old record held by Babe Ruth.
- October 10 – A volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha causes the whole population to be evacuated.
- October 12 – The death penalty is abolished in New Zealand.
- October 17 – Paris massacre of 1961: French police in Paris attack about 30,000 protesting a curfew applied solely to Algerians. The official death toll is 3, but human rights groups claim 240 dead.
- October 18 – West Side Story is released as a film.
- October 19 – The Arab League takes over protecting Kuwait; the last British troops leave.
- October 25 – The first edition of Private Eye, the British satirical magazine, is published.
- October 26 –Cemal Gürsel becomes the fourth president of Turkey. (His former title was head of state and government. By constitution referendum, he is elected as president).
- October 27
- October 29
- October 30
- October 31
- November 1
- The Hungry generation Movement is launched in Calcutta, India.
- The Interstate Commerce Commission's federal order banning segregation at all interstate public facilities officially comes into effect.
- The Madame Alexander Doll Club is founded by Margaret Doris Winson of Sweet Springs MO.
- November 2 – Kean opens at Broadway Theater in New York City for 92 performances.
- November 3 – The United Nations General Assembly unanimously elects U Thant to the position of acting Secretary-General.
- November 6 – The U.S. government issues a stamp honoring the 100th birthday of James Naismith.
- November 8 – Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 crashes while attempting to land at Richmond, Virginia, killing 77 persons on board.
- November 9 – Neil Armstrong records a world record speed in a rocket plane of 6,587 km/h flying a X-15.
- November 10 – Catch-22 is first published by Joseph Heller.
- November 11
- November 17 – Michael Rockefeller, son of New York Governor and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, disappears in the jungles of New Guinea.
- November 18 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.
- November 20
- The funeral of longtime House Speaker Sam Rayburn is held in Washington, DC. Two former Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower) and one future one (Lyndon B. Johnson) join President Kennedy in paying their respects.
- İsmet İnönü of CHP forms the new government of Turkey (26th government, first coalition in Turkey, partner AP)
- November 24 – World Food Program (WFP) formed as a temporary United Nations program.
- November 30 – The Soviet Union vetoes Kuwait's application for United Nations membership.
- December 1 – Netherlands New Guinea raises the new Morning Star flag and changes its name to West Papua.
- December 2 – Cold War: In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro announces he is a Marxist-Leninist, and that Cuba will adopt socialism.
- December 5 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives support to the Volta Dam project in Ghana.
- December 9
- December 10 – The Soviet Union severs diplomatic relations with Albania.
- December 11
- December 14 – Walt Disney's first live-action Technicolor musical, Babes in Toyland, a remake of the famous Victor Herbert operetta, is released, but flops at the box office.
- December 15 – An Israeli war crimes tribunal sentences Adolf Eichmann to die for his part in The Holocaust.
- December 17 – A circus tent fire in Niterói, Brazil kills 323.
- December 18 – India opens hostilities in its annexation of Portuguese India, the colonies of Goa, Damao and Diu.
- December 19
- December 21 – In Congo, Katangan prime minister Moise Tshombe recognizes the Congolese constitution.
- December 23 – Luxembourg's national holiday, the Grand Duke's Official Birthday, is set on June 23 by Grand Ducal decree.
- December 30 – Congolese troops capture Albert Kalonji of South Kasai (who soon escapes).
- December 31 – Ireland's first national television station, Telefís Éireann (later RTÉ), begins broadcasting.
Date unknown 
- January 1
- January 2
- January 5 – Iris DeMent, American singer-songwriter
- January 7 – Supriya Pathak,Indian actress
- January 8 – Calvin Smith, American athlete
- January 9 – Al Jean, American writer for "The Simpsons"
- January 11 – Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen (Károly), Archduke, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary
- Jasper Fforde, fantasy novelist
- January 13
- January 14 – Mike Tramp, Danish rock singer (White Lion)
- January 16 – Peter Tanfield, Concert Violinist
- January 17 – Maia Chiburdanidze, Georgian chess player
- January 18
- January 22
- January 24
- January 26 – Wayne Gretzky, Canadian hockey player
- January 28 – Arnaldur Indridason, Icelandic writer
- January 29 – Petra Thumer, German swimmer
- January 30 – Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- January 31 – Lloyd Cole, British singer and songwriter
- February 1 – Volker Fried, German field hockey player
- February 3 – Jim Balsillie, Canadian CEO and philanthropist
- February 8 – Vince Neil, American singer
- February 9
- February 10 – George Stephanopoulos, American political consultant and commentator
- February 11 – Mary Docter, American speed skater
- February 13 – Henry Rollins, American musician and political activist
- February 14 – Latifa, Tunisian singer
- February 17 – Andrey Korotayev, Russian anthropologist, economic historian, and sociologist
- February 21
- February 22 – Akira Takasaki, Japanese guitarist
- February 25 – Davey Allison, American race car driver (d. 1993)
- February 27 – James Worthy, American basketball player and analyst
- February 28 – Mark Latham, Australian politician
- March 3
- March 4
- March 9
- March 10
- March 14 – Gary Dell'Abate, American radio producer
- March 16 – Brett Kenny, Australian rugby league player
- March 17
- March 21 – Lothar Matthäus, German footballer
- March 23 – Helmi Johannes, Indonesian television newscaster
- March 25 – Reggie Fils-Aime, American businessman
- March 27 – Tak Matsumoto, Japanese guitarist (B'z)
- March 28 – Byron Scott, American basketball player and coach
- March 29
- April 1 – Susan Boyle, Scottish singer
- April 2 – Christopher Meloni, American actor
- April 3 – Eddie Murphy, American actor and comedian
- April 5 – Lisa Zane, American actress
- April 6 – Gene Eugene, Canadian actor and singer
- April 7 – Thurl Bailey, American basketball player
- April 12 – Lisa Gerrard, Australian musician
- April 14 – Neil Dougherty, American basketball coach (d. 2011)
- April 17
- April 18 – Jane Leeves, English actress
- April 20
- April 21 – Cathy Cavadini, American voice actress
- April 23 – George Lopez, American actor and comedian
- April 26 – Anthony Cumia, American radio personality
- April 27 – Moana Pozzi, Italian porn actress (d. 1994)
- April 28 – Futoshi Matsunaga, Japanese serial killer
- April 29 – Fumihiko Tachiki, Japanese voice actor
- April 30 – Isiah Thomas, American basketball player, coach, and team owner
- May 1 – Marilyn Milian, American judge
- May 2 – Steve James, English snooker player
- May 3 – Joe Murray, American animator
- May 4
- May 5 – Hiroshi Hase, Japanese professional wrestler
- May 6 – George Clooney, American actor
- May 7 – Robert Spano, American conductor and pianist
- May 8
- May 9 – Rene Capo, American judoka (d. 2009)
- May 10 – Danny Carey, American drummer (Tool, Pigmy Love Circus)
- May 11
- May 12 – Billy Duffy, British guitarist (The Cult)
- May 13 – Dennis Rodman, American basketball player and actor
- May 14 – Tim Roth, English actor
- May 16
- May 17 – Enya (Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin), Irish musician
- May 18 – Jim Bowden, American baseball executive
- May 20 – Clive Allen, British footballer
- May 22 – Mike Breen, American sports announcer
- May 23 – Karen Duffy, American actress
- May 27 – Peri Gilpin, American actress
- May 29 – Melissa Etheridge, American musician
- May 30 – Ralph Carter, American actor
- May 31
- June 1 – Paul Coffey, Canadian hockey player
- June 2 – Dez Cadena, American musician
- June 3
- June 4 – El DeBarge, American singer (DeBarge)
- June 5
- June 6 – Tom Araya, Chilean-born rock musician (Slayer)
- June 8 – Katy Garbi, Greek singer
- June 9 – Michael J. Fox, Canadian-American actor, producer, and author
- Aaron Sorkin, American screenwriter, producer, and playwright
- June 10
- June 14 – "Boy George", British musician and producer
- June 15 – Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
- June 17 – Koichi Yamadera, Japanese seiyu
- June 18 – Andrés Galarraga, Venezuelan baseball player
- June 20 – Karin Kania, German speed skater
- June 21 – Manu Chao, French singer
- June 23
- June 24 – Lisa Bevill, American Christian musician
- June 25
- June 26 – Greg LeMond, American cyclist
- June 27 – Meera Syal, British-Indian comedienne and actress
- June 28 – Jeff Malone, American basketball player
- June 29 – Greg Hetson, American rock guitarist (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks)
- July 1
- July 4 – Andrew Zimmern, American television personality (Bizarre Foods)
- July 5 – Patrizia Scianca, Italian voice actress
- July 7 – Eric Jerome Dickey, American writer
- July 8 – Toby Keith, American country music singer
- July 10 – Jacky Cheung, Hong Kong singer and actor
- July 14 – Jackie Earle Haley, American actor
- July 17
- July 19
- July 22 – Keith Sweat, American singer
- July 23 – Woody Harrelson, American actor and comedian
- July 25 – Hugo Teufel III, 2nd Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security
- July 26 – Keiko Matsui, Japanese pianist and composer
- July 30 – Laurence Fishburne, American actor
- August 3 – Nick Harvey, English politician
- August 4
- August 5 – Clayton Rohner, American actor
- August 7
- August 8
- August 9 – John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
- August 11
- August 14 – Susan Olsen, American actress and animal welfare advocate
- August 18
- August 21 – Stephen Hillenburg, American animation writer and artist
- August 22 – Andres Calamaro, Argentine musician
- August 25 – Billy Ray Cyrus, American singer and actor
- August 26 – Daniel Lévi, French singer-songwriter, composer and pianist
- August 29 – Carsten Fischer, German field hockey player
- September 1 – Cécilia Rhode, Miss Sweden
- September 2
- September 4 – Felix Wong, Hong Kong Actor
- September 5 – Karim Abdul Razak, Ghanaian footballer
- September 6
- September 7 – Kevin Kennedy, British actor
- September 11
- September 12 – Mylène Farmer, Canadian singer and songwriter
- September 13 – Dave Mustaine, American metal singer, guitarist (Megadeth)
- September 14 – Martina Gedeck, German actress
- September 15
- September 18 – James Gandolfini, American actor
- September 20 – Caroline Flint, British Politician and Labour MP for Don Valley
- September 22
- September 23 – William C. McCool, U.S. Army Commander and astronaut (d. 2003)
- September 25 – Heather Locklear, American actress
- September 26 – Edward Kennedy Jr, son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy
- September 27 – Andy Lau, Hong Kong actor and singer
- September 28 – Yordanka Donkova, Bulgarian athlete
- September 29 – Julia Gillard, Australian politician
- September 30
- October 1
- October 2 – Edmond Yu, Chinese student (d. 1997)
- October 4 – Philippe Russo, French singer
- October 5 – Matthew Kauffman, American journalist and George Polk Award winner
- October 6 – Mark Shasha, American artist, author, illustrator
- October 11
- October 13 – Doc Rivers, American basketball player and coach
- October 16 – Randy Vasquez, American actor
- October 18
- October 24 – Dave Meltzer, American wrestling journalist
- October 25
- October 26 – Dylan McDermott, American actor
- October 29 – Randy Jackson, American musician
- October 31
- November 1 – Anne Donovan, American basketball player
- November 2 – k.d. lang, Canadian singer and songwriter
- November 4
- November 5 – Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (d. 2001)
- November 9 – Jill Dando, British journalist and television presenter (d. 1999)
- Jackie Kay, Scottish poet and novelist
- November 12 – Nadia Comăneci, Romanian gymnast
- November 14
- November 18
- November 19 – Meg Ryan, American actress
- November 20 – Dave Watson, English footballer
- November 22
- November 24 – Arundhati Roy, Indian writer and activist
- December 3 – Marcelo Fromer, Brazilian guitarist
- December 4
- December 8 – Ann Coulter, American author, conservative commentator and attorney
- December 12
- December 13 – Karen Witter, American actress and model
- December 15 – Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist and politician
- December 16 – Bill Hicks, American comedian (d. 1994)
- December 19
- December 20 – Mohammad Fouad, Arab singer and actor
- December 21 – Francis Ng, Hong Kong actor
- December 23 – Ezzat el Kamhawi, Egyptian novelist
- December 24 – Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
- December 25 – Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian senator
- December 26 – John Lynch, Northern Irish actor
- December 29 – Jim Reid, Scottish musician
- December 30
Date unknown 
- Jaime Crespo, Mexican-American artist
- Paul Mason, Canadian canoeist
- Lefred Thouron, French cartoonist
- January 4 – Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
- January 9 – Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1867)
- January 10 – Dashiell Hammett, American writer (b. 1894)
- January 13 – Blanche Ring, American singer and actress (b. 1871)
- January 14 – Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (b. 1888)
- January 17 – Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (b. 1925)
- January 18 – Thomas Anthony Dooley III, physician (b. 1927)
- January 21 – Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
- January 24 – Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American swimmer and inventor (b. 1884)
- January 26 – Stan Nichols, English cricketer (b. 1900)
- January 29 – Jesse Wallace, American naval officer, 29th Governor of American Samoa (b. 1899)
- January 30 – Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (b. 1893)
- February 2 – Anna May Wong, Chinese-American actress (b. 1907)
- February 3 – Viscount Dunrossil, Australian governor-general (b. 1893)
- February 7 – William Duncan, American actor (b. 1879)
- February 12 – Richmond K. Turner, American admiral (b. 1885)
- February 15 – Laurence Owen, American Figure Skater (b. 1944)
- February 17 – Nita Naldi, American actress (b. 1897)
- February 20 – Percy Grainger, Australian composer (b. 1882)
- February 22 – Nick LaRocca, American jazz musician (b. 1889)
- February 26 – King Mohammed V of Morocco (b. 1909)
- March 3 – Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born pianist (b. 1887)
- March 6 – George Formby, British singer, comedian & actor (b. 1904)
- March 8
- March 12 – Belinda Lee, English actress (b. 1935)
- March 17 – Susanna M. Salter, first woman mayor in the United States (b. 1860)
- March 23 – Valentin Bondarenko, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1937)
- March 26 – Carlos Duarte Costa, founder of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (b. 1888)
- April 6 – Jules Bordet, Belgian immunologist and microbiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1870)
- April 7 – Vanessa Bell, English artist and interior designer (b. 1879)
- April 9 – Ahmet Zog, King of Albania (b. 1895)
- April 21 – James Melton, American tenor (b. 1904)
- April 24 – Lee Moran, American actor (b. 1888)
- April 25 – George Melford, American actor (b. 1877)
- April 27 – Roy Del Ruth, American film director (b. 1893)
- May 3 – Maurice Merleau-Ponty, French phenomenological philosopher (b. 1908)
- May 6 – Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet and philosopher (b. 1895)
- May 13 – Gary Cooper, American actor (High Noon) (b. 1901)
- May 14 – Albert Sévigny, Canadian politician (b. 1881)
- May 16 – George A. Malcolm, American jurist & educator (b. 1881)
- May 22 – Joan Davis, American actress (b. 1907)
- May 30 – Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic (b. 1891)
- May 31 – Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)
- June 2 – George S. Kaufman, American playwright (b. 1889)
- June 6 – Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist (b. 1875)
- June 14 – Eddie Polo, Austro-American dramatist (b. 1875)
- June 16 – Marcel Junod, Swiss physician (b. 1904)
- June 17
- June 24 – George Washington Vanderbilt III, American philanthropist (b. 1914)
- June 25 – John A D McCurdy, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia & pilot (b. 1886)
- June 30 – Lee DeForest, American inventor (b. 1873)
- July 1 – Louis-Ferdinand Céline, French writer (b. 1894)
- July 2 – Ernest Hemingway, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (suicide) (b. 1899)
- July 4 – Franklyn Farnum, American actor (b. 1878)
- July 6 – Woodall Rodgers, Mayor of Dallas, Texas (b. 1890)
- July 17 – Ty Cobb, American baseball player (b. 1886)
- July 23
- August 4 – Maurice Tourneur, French film director (b. 1873)
- August 8 – Mei Lanfang, Beijing opera star (b. 1894)
- August 9 – Walter Bedell Smith, American general and diplomat (b. 1895)
- August 14 – Clark Ashton Smith, American writer and sculptor (b. 1893)
- August 20 – Percy Williams Bridgman, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1882)
- August 26 – Gail Russell, American actress (b. 1924)
- August 30 – Charles Coburn, American actor (b. 1877)
- September 1 – Eero Saarinen, Finnish architect (b. 1910)
- September 10 – Leo Carrillo, American actor (b. 1880)
- September 11 – George Irving, American actor (b. 1874)
- September 17 – Adnan Menderes, Turkish prime minister (executed) (b. 1899)
- September 18 – Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1905)
- September 22 – Marion Davies, American actress (b. 1897)
- September 24 – Sumner Welles, American diplomat (b. 1892)
- September 25 – Frank Fay, American actor (b. 1897)
- September 26 – Juanita Hansen, American actress (b. 1895)
- October 1 – Donald Cook, American actor (b. 1901)
- October 4
- October 11 – Chico Marx, American comedian (b. 1887)
- October 13
- October 14 – Harriet Shaw Weaver, English political activist (b. 1876)
- October 19 – Şemsettin Günaltay, ex prime minister of Turkey (b. 1883)
- October 22 – Joseph Schenck, Russian-born film studio executive (b. 1878)
- November 1 – Mordecai Ham, American evangelist (b. 1877)
- November 2 – James Thurber, American humorist (b. 1894)
- November 15 – Elsie Ferguson, American actress (b. 1883)
- November 16 – Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1882)
- November 24 – Ruth Chatterton, American actress (b. 1893)
- November 30 – Anna Gould, American heiress and socialite, the daughter of financier Jay Gould (b. 1875)
- December 2 – Herbert Pitman, British sailor, third officer of the RMS Titanic (b. 1877)
- December 6 – Frantz Fanon, philosopher (b. 1925)
- December 13 – Anna Mary Robertson Moses aka Grandma Moses, painter (b. 1860)
- December 20
- December 23 – Kurt Meyer, German Waffen-SS officer (b. 1910)
- December 25 – Otto Loewi, German-born pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1873)
- December 28 – Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, second wife of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, was First Lady of the United States from 1915 to 1921.
- December 29 – Sibyl Morrison, first female barrister in New South Wales, Australia (b. 1895)
Date unknown 
- Wyncie King, American illustrator
Nobel Prizes 
- Physics – Robert Hofstadter, Rudolf Mössbauer
- Chemistry – Melvin Calvin
- Physiology or Medicine – Georg von Békésy
- Literature – Ivo Andrić
- Peace – Dag Hammarskjöld (posthumously)
- Doug Gilford's Mad Cover Site
- "Selected Milestones of the Kennedy Presidency - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum". Jfklibrary.org. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- JFK Library.org
- McIntyre, W. David (April 2008). "The Expansion of the Commonwealth and the Criteria for Membership". Round Table 97 (395): 273–85. doi:10.1080/00358530801962089.
- JFK Library.org
- Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, "Experimentalsysteme – Eine Geschichte der Proteinsynthese im Reagenzglas" Wallstein ISBN 3-89244-454-4
- "Missile Overview". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- "July 1961". NASA. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- "Those were the days". Expressandstar.com. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- "INCÊNDIO GRAN-CIRCUS NORTE-AMERICANO 1961". Blogger. Retrieved 2011-06-01.