|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s – 1980s – 1990s 2000s 2010s|
|Years:||1980 1981 1982 – 1983 – 1984 1985 1986|
|1983 by topic:|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Works and introductions categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2736|
|British Regnal year||31 Eliz. 2 – 32 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||壬戌年 (Water Dog)
4679 or 4619
— to —
癸亥年 (Water Pig)
4680 or 4620
|- Vikram Samvat||2039–2040|
|- Shaka Samvat||1905–1906|
|- Kali Yuga||5084–5085|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 58
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 72
|Thai solar calendar||2526|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1983.|
1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1983rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 983rd year of the 2nd millennium , 83rd year of the 20th century, and 4th year of the 1980s decade.
- January 1 – The migration of the ARPANET to TCP/IP is officially completed. This is considered to be the beginning of the true Internet.
- January 3 – Kīlauea begins slowly erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii and is still flowing as of 2013[update].
- January 19 – High-ranking Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is arrested in Bolivia.
- January 22 – Björn Borg retires from tennis after winning 5 consecutive Wimbledon championships.
- January 24 – Twenty-five members of the Red Brigades are sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Aldo Moro.
- January 26 – Lotus 1-2-3 is released for IBM PC compatible computers.
- January 31 – Seatbelt use for drivers and front seat passengers becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.
- February 2 – Giovanni Vigliotto goes on trial for multiple counts of bigamy involving 105 women.
- February 3 – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is granted a double dissolution of both houses of parliament for elections, the next day
- February 3 – Bob Hawke replaces Bill Hayden as leader of the Australian Labor Party.
- February 6 – Klaus Barbie is officially charged with war crimes.
- February 13 – A cinema fire in Turin, Italy kills 64 people.
- February 16 – The Ash Wednesday fires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 76 people, in one of Australia's worst bushfires ever.
- February 18
- The Venezuelan bolívar was devaluated and exchange controls were established in an event now referred to as Black Friday by many Venezuelans, the Bolívar had been the most stable and internationally accepted currency.
- Nellie massacre: over 2,000 people, mostly Bangladeshi Muslims, are massacred in Assam, India, during the Assam agitation.
- Wah Mee massacre: 13 people are killed in an attempted robbery in Seattle, Washington.
- February 23
- February 24
- February 28 – The final episode of M*A*S*H is aired and the record of most watched episode is broken.
- March 1 – The Balearic Islands and Madrid become Autonomous communities of Spain.
- March 5 – Bob Hawke is elected Prime Minister of Australia.
- March 8 – IBM releases the IBM PC XT.
- March 9 – Anne Burford resigns as head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency amid scandal.
- March 11 – Australia's First Hawke Ministry is sworn in; Andrew Peacock becomes Federal Opposition leader.
- March 16 – The Transmitter Ismaning (last wooden radio tower in Germany) is demolished.
- March 23 – Strategic Defense Initiative: U.S. President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles. The media dub this plan "Star Wars".
- March 25 – Motown celebrates its 25th anniversary and has the television special Motown 25 during which Michael Jackson performed "Billie Jean" and introduces to the world the moonwalk.
- April 4 – First flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger
- April 15 – Tokyo Disneyland opens.
- April 18 – The April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut kills 63 people.
- April 18 – Channel broadcasting was founded by Disney. Disney Channel
- April 22 – Reactor shut-down due to failure of fuel rods at Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, Russia
- April 25 – Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov, after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.
- May 6 – Stern magazine publishes the "Hitler Diaries" (which are later found to be forgeries).
- May 11 – Aberdeen FC beat Real Madrid 2–1 (after extra time) to win the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983 and become only the third Scottish side to win a European trophy
- May 14 – Dundee United FC are crowned Champions of Scotland for the first time in their history by winning the Scottish Premier League on the final day of the league season at the home of their city rivals Dundee FC at Dens Park
- May 16 – NSW Premier Neville Wran steps down, in response to allegations raised by the ABC program Four Corners, that he attempted to influence the NSW Magistracy.
- May 17 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
- May 25 – Return of the Jedi opens in theatres.
- May 26 – A powerful earthquake and tsunami in northern Honshū, Japan kills 104 and injures 163.
- May 28 – The 9th G7 summit begins at Williamsburg, Virginia.
- May 31 – The Philadelphia 76ers defeat the LA Lakers for the NBA championship.
- June 9 – Britain's Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, is re-elected by a landslide majority.
- June 13 – Pioneer 10 passes the orbit of Neptune, becoming the first man-made object to leave the vicinity of the major planets of the Solar System.
- June 16 – Cork Graham caught off the Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc looking for treasure buried by Captain Kidd. He was convicted and imprisoned until 1984 for illegal entry.
- June 18 – Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space aboard Space Shuttle Challenger on the STS-7 mission.
- June 25 – India wins Cricket World Cup by defeating West Indies by 43 runs.
- June 30 – Total loss of coolant at Embalse Nuclear Power Station, Argentina. It was classified as an "Accident With Local Consequences" – level 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale
- Throughout the summer – Many Midwestern American states are affected by a severe drought that caused water shortages.
- July 1
- A North Korean Ilyushin Il-62M jet, en route to Conakry Airport in Guinea, crashes into the Fouta Djall Mountains in Guinea-Bissau, killing all 23 people on board.
- The High Court of Australia blocks construction of the Franklin Dam in Tasmania.
- Technical failure causes release of iodine-131 from Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant, Germany
- July 15
- July 16 – Sikorsky S-61 disaster: a helicopter crashes off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.
- July 20 – The government of Poland announces the end of martial law and amnesty for political prisoners.
- July 21 – The lowest temperature on Earth is recorded in Vostok Station, Antarctica with −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F).
- July 22 – Australian Dick Smith completes his solo circumnavigation in a helicopter.
- July 23
- Gimli Glider: Out of fuel, Air Canada Flight 143 glides in to land in Gimli, Manitoba.
- 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers are killed after a deadly ambush by the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam starting the Sri Lankan Civil War which continues until 2009.
- Heavy massive rain and mudslides at western Shimane Prefecture, Japan, kill 117.
- July 24 – The Black July anti-Tamil riots begin in Sri Lanka, killing between 400 and 3,000. Black July is generally regarded as the beginning of the Sri Lankan Civil War.
- July 28 – New South Wales premier Neville Wran is exonerated by the Street Royal Commission, over claims raised by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) programme Four Corners, that he attempted to influence the NSW magistracy.
- August 1 – America West Airlines begins operations out of Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada.
- August 4 – Thomas Sankara becomes President of Upper Volta.
- August 16 – The Bill first airs as Woodentop.
- August 18
- August 21 – Benigno Aquino, Jr., Philippines opposition leader, is assassinated in Manila just as he returns from exile.
- August 24 – The Old Philadelphia Arena is destroyed by arson.
- August 26 – Heavy rain triggers flooding at Bilbao (Spain) and surrounding areas, killing 45 people and causing millions in damages.
- August 30 – Guion Bluford becomes the first African-American in space aboard Space Shuttle Challenger on the STS-8 mission.
- September 1 – Cold War: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by a Soviet Union Su-15 interceptor near Moneron Island when the commercial aircraft enters Soviet airspace. All 269 on board are killed including U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald.
- September 4 – Six men walk underwater across Sydney Harbour – 82.9 km in 48 hours.
- September 6 – The Soviet Union admits to shooting down Korean Air Flight 007, stating that the pilots did not know it was a civilian aircraft when it violated Soviet airspace.
- September 16 – Ronald Reagan announces that the Global Positioning System (GPS) will be made available for civilian use.
- September 17 – Vanessa L. Williams becomes the first African-American to be crowned Miss America, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- September 18 – U.S. heavy metal band Kiss officially appear in public without makeup for the first time on MTV.
- September 19 – Saint Kitts and Nevis becomes an independent state.
- September 23
- September 24 – U.S. rock group the Red Hot Chili Peppers launch their first, self-titled, album.
- September 25 – Maze Prison escape: 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners, armed with six handguns, hijack a prison lorry and smash their way out of HM Prison Maze in Northern Ireland, in the largest prison escape since World War II and in British history.
- September 26
- 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident: Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov averts a worldwide nuclear war by correctly identifying a warning of attack by U.S. missiles as a false alarm.
- The Soyuz T-10-1 mission ends in a pad abort at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, when a pad fire occurs at the base of the Soyuz U rocket during the launch countdown. The escape tower system, attached to the top of the capsule containing the crew and Soyuz spacecraft, fires immediately, pulling the crew safe from the vehicle a few seconds before the rocket explodes, destroying the launch complex.
- The Australian yacht Australia II wins the America's Cup, the first successful challenge to the New York Yacht Club's 132-year defence of the sailing trophy.
- September 27 – The GNU Project is announced publicly on the net.unix-wizards and net.usoft newsgroups.
- October 2 – Neil Kinnock is elected leader of the British Labour Party.
- October 4 – British entrepreneur Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 mph (1,019.468 km/h), driving Thrust2 at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
- October 7 – A plan to abolish the Greater London Council is announced.
- October 9 – The Rangoon bombing kills South Korea's Foreign Minister, Lee Bum Suk, and 21 others.
- October 12 – Japan's former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka is found guilty of taking a $2 million bribe from Lockheed, and sentenced to 4 years in jail.
- October 19 – Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister of Grenada, and 40 others are assassinated in a military coup.
- October 21 – At the 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures, the metre is defined in terms of the speed of light as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.
- October 22 – In Bonn, West Germany, people demonstrate for nuclear disarmament.
- October 23 – Beirut barracks bombing: Simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroy both the French Army and United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians.
- October 25 – Invasion of Grenada by United States troops at the behest of Eugenia Charles of Dominica, a member of the Organization of American States.
- October 30 – Argentine general election: The first democratic elections in Argentina after 7 years of military rule are held.
- November 2
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: At the White House Rose Garden, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating a federal holiday on the third Monday of every January to honor American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
- Able Archer 83: Many Soviet officials misinterpret this NATO exercise as a nuclear first strike, causing the last nuclear scare of the Cold War.
- South Africa approves a new constitution granting limited political rights to Coloureds and Asians as part of a series of reforms to apartheid.
- November 3 – The Reverend Jesse Jackson announces his candidacy for the 1984 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
- November 5 – Byford Dolphin rig diving bell accident: Off the coast of Norway, 5 divers are killed and one severely wounded in an explosive decompression accident.
- November 10 – The anticancer drug etoposide is approved by the FDA, leading to a curative treatment regime in the field of combination chemotherapy of testicular carcinoma.
- November 11 – Ronald Reagan becomes the first U.S. President to address the Diet, Japan's national legislature.
- November 13 – The first United States cruise missiles arrive at Greenham Common Airbase in England amid protests from peace campaigners.
- November 14
- November 15 – The Turkish part of Cyprus declares independence.
- November 16 – A jury in Gretna, Louisiana acquits Ginny Foat of the murder of Argentine businessman Moses Chaiyo.
- November 17 – The Zapatista Army of National Liberation is founded in Mexico.
- November 19 – An attempted hijacking of Aeroflot Flight 6833 in Soviet Georgia results in several dead and wounded.
- November 20 – The Day After debuts on ABC.
- November 24 – Lynda Mann, 15, is found raped and strangled in the village of Narborough, England (Colin Pitchfork is sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988).
- November 26 – Brink's-MAT robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly UK£26 million are taken from the Brink's-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport. Only a fraction of the gold is ever recovered, and only 2 men are convicted of the crime.
- November 27 – Colombian Avianca Flight 11 crashes near Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain, killing 181 of the 192 on board.
- December 4 – United States Navy aviator Lt's. Mark Lange and Bobby Goodman shot down over Lebanon and captured by Syrians; Lt Lange died of his injuries; Lt. Goodman was released 30 days later after the intervention of the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
- General elections were celebrated in Venezuela in which the opposition party, Democratic Action, won a majority in both chambers of the Venezuelan Congress and the presidency for the 1984-1989 period under Jaime Lusinchi. Voter turn out was 87.3% and Lusinchi obtained 58.4% of votes.
- Solar eclipse of December 4, 1983
- December 5 – ICIMOD is established and inaugurated with its headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, and legitimised through an Act of Parliament in Nepal this same year.
- December 7 – Two Spanish passenger planes collide on the foggy runway at a Madrid airport, killing 90.
- December 9 – The Australian Dollar is floated, by Federal treasurer Paul Keating. Under the old flexible peg system, the Reserve Bank bought and sold all Australian dollars and cleared the market at the end of the day. This initiative is taken by the government of Bob Hawke.
- December 10 – Military rule ends and democracy is restored in Argentina, with the beginning of Raúl Alfonsín's first term as President of Argentina
- December 13 – Turgut Özal, of ANAP forms the new government of Turkey (45th government); beginning of a new civilian regime
- December 17
- December 27
- December 29 – The Reverend Jesse Jackson travels to Syria to secure the release of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman, who has been in Syrian captivity since being shot down over Lebanon during a bombing mission.
- December 31
- I. M. Pei wins the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
- Zlatko Ugljen receives the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for Šerefudin's White Mosque, built in Visoko
- The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program is launched in the U.S.
- Flashdance and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi are box-office hits
- Gérard Debreu wins the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
- Kellogg's introduces Crispix cereal.
- Leopold Kohr, the people of Belau, Amory and Hunter Lovins / Rocky Mountain Institute and Manfred Max Neef / CEPAUR win the Right Livelihood Award.
- McDonald's introduces the McNugget.
- Kary Mullis discovers polymerase chain reaction while working for Cetus.
- The DeLorean Motor Company ceases production.
- The meteorological El Niño phenomenon brought severe weather worldwide.
- Chrysler starts production on the first minivans: the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager.
- Ronald Reagan declassifies GPS for public use; it would be shut down again in 1990 for the Gulf War and re-activated again in 1993.
- January 1 – Calum Davenport, English footballer
- January 2 – Kate Bosworth, American actress
- January 3 – Precious Lara Quigaman, Filipina model, host and actress
- January 4 – Spencer Chamberlain, American musician
- January 7
- January 8
- January 9
- January 10 – Li Nina, Chinese aerial free-style skier
- January 11 – Adrian Sutil, German Formula One driver
- January 12 – Shawn Desman, Canadian singer
- January 13
- January 14 – Takako Uehara, Japanese singer
- January 15 – Kaine Bennett Charleston, Australian film producer, film and stage actor
- January 16 – Emanuel Pogatetz, Austrian footballer
- January 17 – Johannes Herber, German basketball player
- January 18 – Samantha Mumba, Irish singer and actress
- January 19 – Hikaru Utada, Japanese singer and songwriter
- January 20
- January 21
- January 22 – Shaun Cody, American football player
- January 23 – Justyna Kowalczyk, Polish cross-country skier
- January 24
- January 25 – Yasuyuki Konno, Japanese footballer
- January 31 – James Sutton, British actor
- February 1 – Andrew VanWyngarden, American singer
- February 2
- February 3
- February 5 – Vanessa Rousso, French-American professional poker player
- February 6 – Sreesanth, Indian cricketer
- February 7 – Scott Feldman, American baseball player
- Elin Grindemyr, Swedish model
- February 8
- February 11 – Rafael van der Vaart, Dutch footballer
- February 15
- February 16
- February 17 – Kevin Rudolf, American singer-songwriter and record producer
- February 18 – Jason Maxiell, American basketball player
- February 19
- February 20
- February 21
- February 22 – Penny Flame, born Jennifer Ketcham, American former pornographic actress/reality TV star
- February 23
- February 25 – Eduardo da Silva, Croatian soccer player
- February 26 – Andrew Baggaley, English table tennis player
- February 27
- February 28 – Linda Király, American Hungarian singer-songwriter
- March 2 – Rachel Roxxx, American pornographic actress
- March 3 – Katie White, English singer (The Ting Tings)
- March 4
- March 9
- March 10
- March 14
- March 15 – Florencia Bertotti, Argentine actress and singer
- March 20
- March 21 – Bruno Langley, British actor
- March 23 – Mo Farah, British athlete
- March 27 – Shawntinice Polk, American basketball player (d. 2005)
- March 30 – Zach Gowen, American wrestler
- March 31
- April 1
- April 2 – Yung Joc, American rapper
- April 4
- April 6 – Diora Baird, American actress
- April 10
- April 12
- April 13 – Schalk Burger, South African rugby player
- April 15
- April 16 – Alex Antônio de Melo Santos, Brazilian footballer
- April 18 – Miguel Cabrera, Venezuelan baseball player
- April 19
- April 20
- April 21
- April 22
- April 23
- April 29
- May 1 – Alain Bernard, French swimmer
- May 2
- May 4 – Jesse Moss, Canadian actor
- May 5 – Henry Cavill, British actor
- May 6
- May 9 – Ryuhei Matsuda, Japanese actor
- May 10 – Matt Schichter, Canadian Television personality
- May 11
- May 12
- May 13
- May 14
- May 16
- May 17 – Channing Frye, American basketball player
- May 18 – Vince Young, American football player
- May 19
- May 20
- May 22 – John Hopkins, American MotoGP racer
- May 23 – Heidi Range, British singer (Sugababes member)
- May 24 – Woo Seung-yeon, South Korean actress and model
- May 27
- May 28 – Toby Hemingway, British/American actor
- May 30 – Jennifer Ellison, British actress
- May 31 – David Hernandez, American singer
- June 2 – Brooke White, American singer
- June 3 – Janine Carmen Habeck, German model
- June 6
- June 8
- June 10
- June 11 – José Reyes, Dominican baseball player
- June 12
- June 13 – Jason Spezza, Canadian hockey player
- June 14 – Torrance Coombs, Canadian film, theatre and television actor
- June 15
- June 16 – Verónica Echegui, Spanish actress
- June 17
- June 19
- June 20 – Cherrie Ying, Hong Kong actress
- June 22 – Sally Nicholls, English children's book author of Ways to Live Forever
- June 23 – Miles Fisher, American film and television actor and musician
- June 24 – John Lloyd Cruz, Filipino actor and model
- June 30 – Cheryl Cole, British singer (Girls Aloud) and TV personality
- July 1
- July 2 – Michelle Branch, American singer (The Wreckers)
- July 3 – Edinson Volquez, Dominican baseball player
- July 4 – Isabeli Fontana, Brazilian fashion model
- July 5
- July 6 – Gregory Smith, Canadian-born American actor
- July 10 – Kim Heechul, Korean actor and singer (Super Junior)
- July 11 – Marie Eleonor Serneholt, Swedish singer (A*Teens)
- July 12
- July 13 – Liu Xiang, Chinese athlete
- July 16 – Zhang Xiangxiang, Chinese weightlifter
- July 17 – Flavia de Oliveira, Brazilian model
- July 21
- July 22
- July 23
- July 24
- July 26 – Elettra Weidemann, American fashion model and sociallite
- July 30 – Sean Dillon, Irish footballer
- August 2 – Huston Street, American baseball player
- August 3
- August 4
- August 6 – Robin van Persie, Dutch footballer
- August 7
- August 9 – Sarah Elizabeth, American model
- August 10 – Mathieu Roy, Canadian professional ice hockey player
- August 11
- August 13
- August 14
- August 16 – Nikos Zisis, Greek basketball player
- August 17 – Dustin Pedroia, American baseball player
- August 18
- August 19
- August 20
- August 21 – Brody Jenner, American television personality
- August 23
- August 24 – Brett Gardner, American baseball player
- August 27 – Wilson Chen, Taiwanese actor
- August 28 – Lasith Malinga, Sri Lankan cricketer
- August 30 – Jun Matsumoto, Japanese singer and actor
- September 1
- September 2 – Tiffany Hines, American television actress and singer
- September 3 – Valdas Vasylius, Lithuanian basketball player
- September 5 – Priscilla Meirelles, Miss Earth 2004
- September 8 – Chris Judd, Australian rules footballer
- September 9 – Zoe Kazan, is an American actress and screenwriter
- September 10 – Joey Votto, Canadian baseball player
- September 11 – Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot, Kenyan Long-distance runner
- September 12 – Carly Smithson, Irish singer
- September 13 – Kaoklai Kaennorsing, Thai Muay Thai kickboxer
- September 14 – Amy Winehouse, British singer (d. 2011)
- September 15 – Ashleigh McIvor, Canadian freestyle skier
- September 16 – Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwean swimmer
- September 17
- September 18 – Kevin Doyle, Irish footballer
- September 21
- September 22 – Eriko Imai, Japanese singer (Speed)
- September 23 – Märt Israel, Estonian discus thrower
- September 24
- September 25
- September 26 – Ricardo Quaresma, Portuguese footballer
- September 28
- September 30 – Reiko Shiota, Japanese badminton player
- October 2 – Gerran Walker, American football player
- October 3
- October 4
- October 5
- October 8
- October 9 – Spencer Grammer, American actress
- October 10 – Alyson Hau, Hong Kong radio DJ
- October 11 – Bradley James, English actor
- October 13 – Katia Winter, Swedish actress
- October 14
- October 15 – Stephy Tang, Hong Kong singer and actress
- October 17
- October 19 – Rebecca Ferguson, Swedish model and actress
- October 20 – Alona Tal, Israeli television actress
- October 21
- October 24
- October 25
- October 26 – Dmitri Sychev, Russian footballer
- October 29
- October 30 – Diana Karazon, Jordanian singer
- November 1 – Yuko Ogura, Japanese gravure idol
- November 3 – Julie Marie Berman, American actress
- November 5 – Alexa Chung, English television presenter and model
- November 4 – Tyler Everett, American football player
- November 8
- November 9 – Meseret Defar, Ethiopian long-distance runner
- November 10 – Miranda Lambert, American country music singer
- November 11
- November 12 – Kate Bell, Australian actress
- November 17
- November 18
- November 19
- November 22 – Tyler Hilton, American singer-songwriter and actor
- November 24
- November 25 – Atsushi Itō, Japanese actor
- November 27 – Professor Green, British rapper
- November 28 – Kelly Wenham, English actress
- November 30 – Nicholas Kole, American figure skater
- December 2
- December 3
- December 4
- December 5 – Tiffany Weimer, American footballer
- December 7 – Fausto Carmona, Dominican baseball player
- December 9 – Dariusz Dudka, Polish footballer
- December 10
- December 12 – Katrina Elam, American singer
- December 13
- December 15
- December 16 – Danielle Lloyd, British model
- December 17 – Erik Christensen, Canadian hockey player
- December 20
- December 22
- December 23 – Hanley Ramírez, Dominican baseball player
- December 25 – Gwei Lun-mei, Taiwanese actress
- December 27 – Cole Hamels, American baseball player
- December 28 – Aiko Nakamura, Japanese tennis player
- January 2 – Dick Emery, British comedian (b. 1915)
- January 8 – Gerhard Barkhorn, German World War II fighter ace (b. 1919)
- January 10 – Roy DeMeo, American Mafia hitman (b. 1942)
- January 11
- January 12 – Nikolai Podgorny, Ukrainian politician, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 1965 to 1977 (b. 1903)
- January 15 – Meyer Lansky, American gangster (b. 1902)
- January 17 – Doodles Weaver, American comedian and uncle of Sigourney Weaver (b. 1911)
- January 23 – Fred Bakewell, English cricketer (b. 1908)
- January 24
- January 26 – Paul "Bear" Bryant, American college football coach (b. 1913)
- January 27
- January 28
- January 29 – Stuart H. Ingersoll, American admiral (b. 1898)
- February 4 – Karen Carpenter, American singer and drummer (b. 1950)
- February 8 – Harry Boot, English physicist (b. 1917)
- February 12 – Eubie Blake, American musician and songwriter (b. 1887)
- February 14 – Lina Radke, German athlete (b. 1903)
- February 19 – Alice White, American actress (b. 1904)
- February 22 – Sir Adrian Boult, English conductor (b. 1889)
- February 23 – Herbert Howells, English composer (b. 1892)
- February 25 – Tennessee Williams, American playwright (b. 1911)
- February 27 – Nikolai Aleksandrovich Kozyrev, Russian astronomer and astrophysicist (b. 1908)
- February 28 – Winifred Atwell, British pianist (b. 1914)
- March 1 – Hideo Kobayashi, Japanese author (b. 1902)
- March 3
- March 6 – Donald Maclean, British spy (b. 1913)
- March 7 – Igor Markevitch, Ukrainian conductor (b. 1912)
- March 8 – William Walton, English composer (b. 1902)
- March 9
- March 14 – Maurice Ronet, French film actor and director (b. 1927)
- March 15 – Rebecca West, English-born writer (b. 1892)
- March 16
- March 17 – Haldan Keffer Hartline, American physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
- March 18
- March 25 – Bob Waterfield, American football player (Los Angeles Rams) and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1920)
- March 26 – Anthony Blunt, British spy and art historian (b. 1907)
- March 27
- March 30 – Lisette Model, Austrian-born American photographer (b. 1901)
- April 3 – Jimmy Bloomfield, English football player and manager (b. 1934)
- April 4
- April 11 – Dolores del Río, Mexican actress (b. 1905)
- April 12 – Desmond Bagley, English novelist (b. 1923)
- April 15
- April 19 – Jerzy Andrzejewski, Polish author (b. 1909)
- April 20 – Pedro Quartucci, Argentine boxer and actor (b. 1905).
- April 21 – Walter Slezak, Austrian actor (b. 1902)
- April 22 – Earl 'Fatha' Hines, American musician (b. 1903)
- April 23
- April 30
- May 1
- May 2 – Norm Van Brocklin, American football player (Los Angeles Rams) and coach (Minnesota Vikings) and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1926)
- May 5 – John Williams, British actor (b. 1903)
- May 8 – John Fante, American writer (b. 1909)
- May 14 – Roger J. Traynor, American judge (b. 1900)
- May 15 – James Van Der Zee, American photographer (b. 1886)
- May 18 – Frank Aiken, Irish Foreign Minister (b. 1898)
- May 19 – Jean Rey, President of the European Commission (b. 1902)
- May 21 – Kenneth Clark, British art historian (b. 1903)
- May 22
- May 25 – Sid Daniels, British merchant marine worker, last surviving crewmember of the RMS Titanic (b. 1895)
- May 29 – Arvīds Pelše, Latvian historian, Soviet politician and functionary (b. 1899)
- May 31 – Jack Dempsey, American heavyweight champion boxer (b. 1895)
- June 1 – Prince Charles of Belgium (b. 1903)
- June 2 – Stan Rogers, Canadian musician (b. 1949)
- June 8 – Miško Kranjec, Slovenian writer (b. 1908)
- June 10 – Larry Hooper, American singer (b. 1917)
- June 12 – Norma Shearer, Canadian-born actress (b. 1902)
- June 15 – Srirangam Srinivasarao, also known as Sri Sri, Telugu poet (b. 1910)
- June 17 – Peter Mennin, American composer and teacher (b. 1923)
- June 18
- June 23 – Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado, Cuban politician and 21st President of Cuba (b. 1919)
- June 24 – Charles Phelps Taft II, American politician, son of President William Howard Taft (b. 1897)
- June 25 – Alberto Ginastera, Argentine composer (b. 1916)
- June 30 – Mary Livingstone, American comedienne (b. 1905)
- July 1 – Buckminster Fuller, American architect (b. 1895)
- July 4
- July 5 – Harry James, American musician and band leader (b. 1916)
- July 7
- July 9 – Keith Wickenden, British politician (b. 1932)
- July 10 – Werner Egk, German composer (b. 1901)
- July 11 – Ross Macdonald, American-Canadian writer (b. 1915)
- July 12 – Chris Wood, British rock musician (b. 1944)
- July 15 – Eddie Foy, Jr., American actor (b. 1905)
- July 16 – Samson Raphaelson, American screenwriter (b. 1894)
- July 17 – Roosevelt "Honeydripper" Sykes, American blues musician (b. 1906)
- July 20 – Frank Reynolds, American journalist (b. 1923)
- July 23 – Georges Auric, French composer (b. 1899)
- July 26
- July 29
- July 30
- August 1
- August 2 – James Jamerson, American musician (b. 1938)
- August 3
- August 5 – Judy Canova, American actress (b. 1913)
- August 6 – Klaus Nomi, German singer and performance artist (b. 1944)
- August 16 – Earl Averill, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1902)
- August 17 – Ira Gershwin, American lyricist (b. 1896)
- August 18 – Nikolaus Pevsner, German-born art historian (b. 1902)
- August 21 – Benigno Aquino, Jr., Filipino politician (b. 1932)
- August 28 – Jan Clayton, American actress (b. 1917)
- August 29 – Simon Oakland, American actor (b. 1915)
- September 1
- September 10
- September 12 – Sabin Carr, American Olympic athlete (b. 1904)
- September 20 – Angel Labruna, Argentine footballer and manager (b. 1918)
- September 25 – King Léopold III of Belgium (b. 1901)
- September 26 – Tino Rossi, Corsican singer (b. 1907)
- September 29 – Alan Moorehead, Australian-born English war correspondent and historian (b. 1910)
- October 8 – Joan Hackett, American actress (b. 1934)
- October 10 – Ralph Richardson, British actor (b. 1902)
- October 14 – Paul Fix, American actor (b. 1901)
- October 15 – Pat O'Brien, American actor (b. 1899)
- October 18 – Willie Jones, baseball player (b. 1925)
- October 19 – Maurice Bishop, Grenadian politician and revolutionary (b. 1944)
- October 20 – Peter Dudley, British actor (b. 1935)
- October 23
- October 26 – Mike Michalske, American football player (Green Bay Packers) and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1903)
- October 28
- October 31 – George S. Halas, American football player and coach (Chicago Bears), a co-founder of the National Football League, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1895)
- November – Barney Bubbles, English graphic artist (b. 1942)
- November 3 – Alfredo Antonini, American conductor and composer (b. 1901)
- November 7 – Germaine Tailleferre, French composer (b. 1892)
- November 8
- November 13 – Junior Samples, American comedian (b. 1926)
- November 14 – Tómas Guðmundsson, Icelandic poet (b. 1901)
- November 15 – John Le Mesurier, British actor (b. 1912)
- November 19 – Carolyn Leigh, American lyricist (b. 1926)
- November 20
- November 23 – Waheed Murad, Legendary Pakistani actor, film producer, writer and director (b. 1938)
- November 25 – Michael Conrad, American actor (b. 1925)
- November 28 – Christopher George, American actor (b. 1931)
- November 30 – Richard Llewellyn, British writer (b. 1906)
- December 2 – Fifi D'Orsay, Canadian actress (b. 1904)
- December 4 – Bobby Goodman, U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder Bombardier Navigator shot down over Lebanon; captured upon ejection and held captive in Syria for 30 days; pilot Mark Lange died of injuries
- December 5 – Robert Aldrich, American film director (b. 1918)
- December 6 – Lucienne Boyer, French singer (b. 1903)
- December 8 – Slim Pickens, American actor (b. 1919)
- December 9 – David Rounds, American actor (b. 1930)
- December 11 – Sir Neil Ritchie, British general (b. 1897)
- December 13
- December 15 – David Markham, British actor (b. 1913)
- December 21
- December 23 – Colin Middleton, Northern Irish artist (b. 1910)
- December 25 – Joan Miró, Catalan painter (b. 1893)
- December 26 – Violet Carson, British actress (b. 1898)
- December 28
- Physics – Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, William Alfred Fowler
- Chemistry – Henry Taube
- Medicine – Barbara McClintock
- Literature – William Golding
- Peace – Lech Wałęsa
- Economics – Gérard Debreu