Dowd is a derivation of an ancient surname which was once common in Ireland but is now quite rare. The name Dowd is an Anglicisation of the original Ui Dubhda, through its more common form O'Dowd. The Ui Dubhda are one of the Clann Ui Fiachrach, one of the major families of Irish clans.
- Ann Dowd, American actress
- Bernard J. Dowd (1891–1971) was Mayor of the City of Buffalo, New York, serving 1946–1949.
- Charles F. Dowd, American educator who proposed United States time zones
- Clement Dowd, (1832–1898) was a politician from North Carolina
- Craig Dowd, New Zealand rugby player
- Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd, a political economist
- Graham Dowd, a former New Zealand rugby player
- Harry Dowd, an English former football goalkeeper
- Hugh Dowd, Northern Irish former footballer
- Jim Dowd (politician), the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Lewisham West and Penge in the United Kingdom
- Jim Dowd (ice hockey), professional National Hockey league player
- Jeff Dowd, an American film producer
- Johnny Dowd, an American country musician
- John Albert Dowd (1876–1932), politician in Saskatchewan, Canada
- John H. Dowd, American marketer
- John M. Dowd, an American lawyer
- John Dowd (baseball) (1891–1981), American baseball player
- John Dowd (motocross)
- John Dowd (politician), former Australian politician
- Maureen Dowd, American journalist and newspaper columnist
- Matthew Dowd, campaign advisor and media commentator
- M'el Dowd, American actress
- Michael Dowd, evolutionary evangelist and author
- Nancy Dowd, screenwriter
- Ned Dowd, an American actor and film producer
- Patrick Dowd, (born 1968), a politician from Pittsburgh
- Phil Dowd, English football referee.
- Raymond Dowd, San Francisco investment banker
- Robert Dowd, an American painter and sculptor.
- Siobhan Dowd, an Irish/British writer
- Stanton Dowd (character), in the Deus Ex universe, a leader of Illuminati.
- Thomas Dowd (bishop), Canadian Catholic bishop
- Tom Dowd, an influential recording engineer
- Tommy Dowd (baseball) (1869 – 1933), American baseball player
- Tommy Dowd (Gaelic footballer), former Irish Gaelic footballer
- William Dowd, American harpsichord maker
- The Dowd Report, a document describing the transgressions of baseball player Pete Rose in betting on baseball
- Irvin v. Dowd (1959), was a United States Supreme Court case
- The Dowd–Beckwith ring expansion reaction is an organic reaction
- J. O'Donovan, Tribes and Customs of the Hy Fiachrach, 1844.
- G. O'Reilly, Stories of O'Dowda's Country, Enniscrone, 1971.