|Centuries:||19th century – 20th century – 21st century|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s – 1980s – 1990s 2000s 2010s|
|Years:||1984 1985 1986 – 1987 – 1988 1989 1990|
|Ab urbe condita||2740|
|British Regnal year||35 Eliz. 2 – 36 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||丙寅年 (Fire Tiger)
4683 or 4623
— to —
丁卯年 (Fire Rabbit)
4684 or 4624
|- Vikram Samvat||2043–2044|
|- Shaka Samvat||1909–1910|
|- Kali Yuga||5088–5089|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 62
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 76
|Thai solar calendar||2530|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1987.|
1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1987th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 987th year of the 2nd millennium, the 87th year of the 20th century, and the 8th year of the 1980s decade.
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 In fiction
- 5 Nobel Prizes
- 6 References
- January 1 – Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories, changes its name to Iqaluit.
- January 2 – Chadian–Libyan conflict – Battle of Fada: The Chadian army destroys a Libyan armoured brigade.
- January 3 – Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- January 4 – 1987 Maryland train collision: An Amtrak train en route from Washington, D.C. to Boston collides with Conrail engines at Chase, Maryland, killing 16.
- January 5 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan undergoes prostate surgery, causing speculation about his physical fitness to continue in office.
- January 8 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes for the first time above 2,000, gaining 8.30 to close at 2,002.25.
- January 13 – New York mafiosi Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and Carmine Peruccia are sentenced to 100 years in prison for racketeering.
- January 15 – Hu Yaobang, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, is forced into retirement by political conservatives
- January 16 – León Febres Cordero, president of Ecuador, is kidnapped by followers of imprisoned general Frank Vargas, who successfully demand the latter's release.
- January 20 – Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lebanon, is kidnapped in Beirut (released November 1991).
- January 22 – Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself with a revolver during a televised press conference after being found guilty on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering.
- January 29 – William J. Casey ends his term as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
- January 31 – The last Ohrbach's department store closes in New York City after 64 years of operation.
- February 11
- February 20 – A second Unabomber bomb explodes at a Salt Lake City computer store, injuring the owner.
- February 23 – SN 1987A, the first "naked-eye" supernova since 1604, is observed.
- February 25
- February 26 – Iran–Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council staff.
- February 27 – Antigua and Barbuda recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
- March 2 – American Motors is acquired by the Chrysler Corporation.
- March 4 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses the American people on the Iran–Contra affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had 'deteriorated' into an arms-for-hostages deal.
- March 6 – Zeebrugge disaster: Roll-on/roll-off cross-channel ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes off Zeebrugge harbor in Belgium; 193 people die.
- March 7 – 1987 Lieyu massacre: Republic of China Army execute 19 unarmed Vietnamese refugees on Donggang beach, Lieyu, Kinmen off Mainland China.
- March 9 – The Irish rock band U2 releases their studio album The Joshua Tree.
- March 18 – Woodstock of physics: The marathon session of the American Physical Society’s meeting features 51 presentations concerning the science of high-temperature superconductors.
- March 20 – AZT is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
- March 23 – The Bold & the Beautiful debuts on CBS.
- March 24 – Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and French Prime Minister and future President of France, Jacques Chirac, sign the agreement to construct the 4,800 acres (19 km2) Euro Disney Resort (now called Disneyland Paris) and to develop the Val d'Europe area of the new town Marne-la-Vallée in Paris, France.
- March 29 – The World Wrestling Federation (later WWE) produces WrestleMania III from the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. The event is particularly notable for the record attendance of 93,173, the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America until February 14, 2010, when the 2010 NBA All-Star Game has an attendance of 108,713 at AT&T Stadium.
- March 31 – Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, conducts a 45-minute interview on Soviet television.
- April 3 – Showboat Casino Hotel first opens in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- April 13 – The governments of the Portuguese Republic and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau will be returned to China in 1999.
- April 19 – The Simpsons cartoon first appears as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show.
- April 27 – The United States Department of Justice declares incumbent Austrian president Kurt Waldheim an "undesirable alien".
- April 30 – Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the Provincial Premiers agree on principle to the Meech Lake Accord which would bring Quebec into the constitution.
- May 3 – Dalida died. She remains remembered as international diva in French chanson, pop, disco and others.
- May 9 – A Soviet-made Ilyushin Il-62 airliner, operated by LOT Polish Airlines, crashes into a forest just outside Warsaw, killing all 183 people on board.
- May 11 – Klaus Barbie goes on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.
- May 14 – Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka executes a bloodless coup in Fiji.
- May 17 – USS Stark is hit by two Iraqi-owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 47 sailors.
- May 22
- May 27 – In one of the densest concentrations of humanity in history, a crowd of 800,000+ packed shoulder-to-shoulder onto the Golden Gate Bridge and its approaches for its 50th Anniversary celebration.
- May 28 – Eighteen-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet air defenses and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained (released on August 3, 1988).
- June 3 – The Vanuatu Labour Party is founded.
- June 8 – The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act is passed, the first of its kind in the world.
- June 11 – The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, led by Margaret Thatcher, is re-elected for a third term at the 1987 general election.
- June 12 – During a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
- June 15 – Rock musician Roger Waters releases his second solo album since splitting from his former band, Pink Floyd, entitled Radio K.A.O.S.
- June 17 – With the death of the last individual, the dusky seaside sparrow becomes extinct.
- June 19
- Teddy Seymour is officially designated the first black man to sail around the world, when he completes his solo sailing circumnavigation in Frederiksted, St. Croix, of the United States Virgin Islands.
- Edwards v. Aguillard: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that a Louisiana law requiring that creation science be taught in public schools whenever evolution is taught is unconstitutional.
- June 27 – A commercial HS 748 (Philippine Airlines Flight 206) crashes near Baguio City, Philippines, killing 50.
- June 28
- June 29 – South Korean president Roh Tae-woo makes a speech promising a wide program of nationwide reforms, the result of the June Democracy Movement.
- June 30 – Canada introduces a one-dollar coin, nicknamed the "Loonie".
- July 1
- July 3
- In the Soviet Union, Vladimir Nikolayev is sentenced to death for cannibalism.
- Greater Manchester Police recover the body of 16-year-old Pauline Reade from Saddleworth Moor, after her killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley help them in their search, almost exactly 24 years since Pauline was last seen alive.
- July 4 – A court in Lyon sentences former Gestapo boss Klaus Barbie to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity.
- July 11
- July 12 – Konami releases the video game Metal Gear in Japan for the MSX2.
- July 16 – Death of Pierre Lardinois, Belgian politician (b. 1924)
- July 17 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 2,500 mark for the first time, at 2,510.04.
- July 22 – Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim al-Ali is shot in London; he dies August 28.
- July 25
- July 31
- Four hundred pilgrims killed in clashes between demonstrating Iranian pilgrims and Saudi Arabian security forces in Mecca.
- Docklands Light Railway in London, the first driverless railway in Great Britain, is formally opened by Elizabeth II.
- An F4-rated tornado devastates eastern Edmonton, Alberta; hardest hit are an industrial park and a trailer park. 27 people are killed and hundreds injured, with hundreds more left homeless and jobless.
- August 4
- August 7 – The Colombian frigate Caldas enters Venezuelan waters near the Los Monjes Archipelago, sparking the Caldas frigate crisis between both nations.
- August 9 – Hoddle Street massacre in Australia: Julian Knight, 19, goes on a shooting rampage in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill, Victoria, killing 7 people and injuring 19 before surrendering to police.
- August 14 – All the children held at Kai Lama, a rural property on Lake Eildon, Australia, run by the Santiniketan Park Association, are released after a police raid.
- August 16
- Northwest Airlines Flight 255 (a McDonnell Douglas MD-82) crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan just west of Detroit killing all but one (4-year old Cecelia Cichan) of the 156 people on board.
- The followers of the Harmonic Convergence claim it was observed around the world.
- August 17 – Rudolf Hess is found dead in his cell in Spandau Prison. Hess, 93, is believed to have committed suicide by hanging himself with an electrical flex. He was the last remaining prisoner at the complex, which is soon demolished.
- August 19
- August 22 – North American release of The Legend of Zelda
- August 23 – The Hirvepark meeting is organized as the first unsanctioned political meeting in Estonian SSR, in commemoration of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
- August 31 – Michael Jackson releases his hit album Bad.
- September 2 – In Moscow, the trial begins for 19-year-old pilot Mathias Rust, who flew his Cessna airplane into Red Square in May.
- September 3 – In a coup d'état in Burundi, President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza is deposed by Major Pierre Buyoya.
- September 7 – Rock band Pink Floyd release their album A Momentary Lapse of Reason, their first since the departure of Roger Waters.
- September 7 – 21 – The world's first conference on artificial life is held at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- September 13 – Scavengers open an old radiation source abandoned in a hospital in Goiânia, causing the worst radiation accident ever in an urban area.
- September 15 – Pope John Paul II arrives in Los Angeles for a two-day papal visit, his first one ever to the city.
- September 17 – At a small rally in New York City's Harlem district, televangelist Pat Robertson announces his candidacy for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
- September 17 Pope John Paul II arrives in San Francisco for his first ever papal tour here, including a speech to several AIDS sufferers.
- September 22 – The series Full House airs its first episode, "Our Very First Show".
- September 28 – The second Star Trek TV series The Next Generation premieres in syndication.
- October 3 – The Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement is reached but still requires ratification. This agreement would be a precursor to NAFTA.
- October 7 – Sikh nationalists declares the independence of Khalistan from India.
- October 11 – The first National Coming Out Day is held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
- October 14–16 – The United States is caught up in a drama that unfolds on television as a young child, Jessica McClure, falls down a well in Midland, Texas, and is later rescued.
- October 15–16 – Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane-force winds hit much of southern England, killing 23 people.
- October 19
- October 22 – The pilot of a British Aerospace BAE Harrier GR5 registered ZD325 accidentally ejects from his aircraft. The jet continues to fly until it runs out of fuel and crashes into the Irish Sea.
- October 23
- October 26 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average goes down 156.83 points.
- November 1 – InterCity 125 breaks world diesel powered train speed record reaching 238 km/h (147.88 mph).
- November 7
- November 8 – Enniskillen bombing: Eleven people are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb at a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen.
- November 12 – The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Mainland China opens in Beijing, near Tiananmen Square.
- November 15
- November 16 – The Parlatino Treaty of Institutionalization is signed.
- November 17 – A tsunami hits the Gulf of Alaska.
- November 18
- November 22 – Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion – unknown perpetrators hijack the signal of WGN-TV for about 20 seconds, and WTTW for about 90 seconds, and displays a strange video of a man in a Max Headroom mask.
- November 25 – Category 5 Typhoon Nina smashes the Philippines with 165 miles per hour (266 km/h) winds and a devastating storm surge, causing destruction and 1,036 deaths.
- November 28 – South African Airways Flight 295 crashes into the Indian ocean off Mauritius, due to a fire in the cargo hold; the 159 passengers and crew perish.
- November 29 – Korean Air Flight 858 is blown up over the Andaman Sea, killing 115 crew and passengers. North Korean agents are responsible for the bombing.
- December 1
- NASA announces the names of 4 companies awarded contracts to help build Space Station Freedom: Boeing Aerospace, General Electric's Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas, and the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell.
- Queensland: Following a week of turmoil from his National Party of Australia colleagues, Joh Bjelke-Petersen resigns as Premier of Queensland. He is replaced by Mike Ahern, the only premier never to contest an election as premier.
- December 2 – Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- December 7 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-supervisor on the flight, then shoots both pilots.
- December 8
- Israeli–Palestinian conflict: The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
- Queen Street massacre: In Melbourne, Australia, 22-year-old Frank Vitkovic kills 8 and injures another 5 in a Post Office building before committing suicide by jumping from the eleventh floor.
- The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C. by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
- Alianza Lima air disaster: A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27 crashes near Ventanilla, Peru, killing 43.
- December 9
- December 17
- December 18
- December 20 – In history's worst peacetime sea disaster, the passenger ferry MV Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).
- December 21 – Turgut Özal of ANAP forms the new government of Turkey (46th government).
- December 30 – Pope John Paul II issues the encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis (On Social Concern).
- Birth rates begin to fall in the Soviet Union as the country's government began to collapse.
- The Pendolino train makes its debut in Italy.
- Tinker Hatfield designs the Nike Air Max.
- Shoko Asahara founds the Aum Shinrikyo cult.
- Thomas Knoll and John Knoll develop the first version of Photoshop.
- Maglite introduces the 2AAA Mini Maglite flashlight, targeted for medical and industrial applications.
- Barry Minkow's ZZZZ Best fraud unravels.
- Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite of honeybees, is found in the U.S.
- The first Starbucks Coffee stores outside Seattle are opened in Vancouver and Chicago.
- BiCE Ristorante opens in New York, New York.
- January 1
- Meryl Davis, American figure skater
- January 2
- January 5
- January 6
- January 7
- January 8 – Freddie Stroma, English actor
- January 9
- January 10 – César Cielo, Brazilian swimmer
- January 11
- January 12 – Naya Rivera, American actress
- January 13 – Jack Johnson, American hockey player
- January 15
- January 16 – Jake Epstein, Canadian actor
- January 18 – Stefan Filipović, Montenegrin pop singer
- January 20 – Evan Peters, American actor
- January 23 – The Avener, French deep house producer
- January 24
- January 26 – Sebastian Giovinco, Italian football player
- January 27
- January 28 – Katie Nolan, American sport personality and TV host
- January 29 – Ksenia Kahnovich, Russian model
- January 30
- January 31 – Marcus Mumford, English-American singer, songwriter and musician (Mumford & Sons)
- February 1
- February 2
- February 3 – Johan Dahlberg, Swedish architect
- February 4 – Lucie Šafářová, Czech tennis player
- February 5
- February 7
- February 8 – Carolina Kostner, Italian figure skater
- February 9
- February 10
- February 11 – Ellen van Dijk, Dutch road and track cycling world champion
- February 13
- February 14 – Edinson Cavani, Uruguayan footballer
- February 15 – Alex Rodman, English footballer
- February 16
- February 20 – Miles Teller, American actor
- February 21
- February 22
- February 24 – Tina Desai, Indian actress and model
- February 25
- February 26 – Johan Sjöstrand, Swedish handball player
- February 27
- March 1 – Kesha, American singer
- March 3
- March 4 – Tamzin Merchant, English actress
- March 5 – Anna Chakvetadze, Russian professional tennis player
- March 6
- March 7 – Hatem Ben Arfa, Tunisian-French footballer
- March 9 – Bow Wow, African-American rapper
- March 10
- March 11 – Ngonidzashe Makusha, Zimbabwean sprinter and long jumper
- March 12
- March 13 – Marco Andretti, American IRL driver
- March 14
- March 16 – Alexandr Smyshlyaev, Russian freestyle skier
- March 17 – Robert Kardashian Jr., American television personality, model, and talent manager
- March 18 – Rebecca Soni, American swimmer
- March 19
- March 20
- March 21 – Yuri Ryazanov, Russian artistic gymnast (d. 2009)
- March 22
- March 23 – Alan Toovey, Australian Rules Football Premiership player
- March 24 – Josh Zeid, American baseball player
- March 25 – Nobunari Oda, Japanese figure skater
- March 26 – YUI, Japanese singer-songwriter
- March 27
- March 28 – Kagney Linn Karter, American pornographic actress
- March 29 – Dénes Varga, Hungarian water polo player
- March 31 – Humpy Koneru, Indian chess grandmaster
- April 1
- April 2 – Molly Smitten-Downes, British singer-songwriter
- April 3 – Park Jung-min, South Korean singer (SS501)
- April 4
- April 6 – Hilary Rhoda, American model
- April 8 – Royston Drenthe, Dutch footballer
- April 9
- April 10
- April 11
- April 12
- April 15 – Iyaz, British Virgin Islands singer
- April 16 – Aaron Lennon, English footballer
- April 18 – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, English supermodel
- April 19
- April 20
- April 21
- April 22 – John Obi Mikel, Nigerian footballer
- April 24 – Varun Dhawan, Indian Bollywood actor
- April 27
- April 28 – Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Indian film actress and model
- April 29
- May 1
- May 2
- May 4
- May 6 – Moon Geun-young, Korean actress
- May 7
- May 10
- May 11
- May 13
- May 15 – Andy Murray, Scottish tennis player
- May 16 – Can Bonomo, Turkish-Jewish singer
- May 17 – Ott Lepland, Estonian singer
- May 20 – Fra Fee, Northern Irish actor and singer
- May 22 – Novak Djokovic, Serbian tennis player
- May 25 – Nico Hillenbrand, German footballer
- May 26 – Tooji, Norwegian-Iranian singer, model and television host
- May 29
- May 31 – Meredith Hagner, American actress
- June 2 – Sonakshi Sinha, Indian actress
- June 3
- June 4
- June 5 – Charlie Clements, British actor
- June 6 – Luo Zilin, Miss Universe China 2011 4th runner-up and model
- June 9 – Rheagan Wallace, American actress
- June 10 – He Chong, Chinese diver
- June 11
- June 12 – Abbey Lee Kershaw, Australian model
- June 14 – Cameron Russell, American model
- June 16
- June 17
- June 18 – Zsuzsanna Tomori, Hungarian handball player
- June 19 – Miho Fukuhara, Japanese singer
- June 20 – Daiana Menezes, Brazilian actress, model, and television host
- June 21 – Kim Ryeowook, South Korean singer (Super Junior)
- June 22 – Lee Min-ho, South Korean actor and model
- June 23 – Haley Strode, American actress
- June 24
- June 26 – Samir Nasri, French footballer
- June 27 – Ed Westwick, English actor
- July 2 – Ruslana Korshunova, Kazakhstani model (d. 2008)
- July 3
- July 6
- July 7 – Julianna Guill, American actress
- July 9 – Rebecca Sugar, American animator and creator of Steven Universe.
- July 11 – Maximilian Müller, German field hockey player
- July 12
- Adam Gregory, Canadian singer
- July 14 – Dan Reynolds, American singer and musician (Imagine Dragons)
- July 13 – Eva Rivas, Russian-Armenian singer
- July 16
- July 17 – Jeremih, American recording artist and producer
- July 19 – Yan Gomes, Brazilian baseball player
- July 24 – Mara Wilson, American actress
- July 25
- July 26 – Miriam McDonald, Canadian actress and dancer
- July 27 – Marek Hamšík, Slovak football player
- July 28
- July 29
- July 31
- Michael Bradley, American soccer player
- August 2 – Jessie Daniels, American actress, songwriter, and Christian musician
- August 3 – Kim Hyung-jun, South Korean singer, DJ (SS501)
- August 4
- August 5 – Genelia D'Souza, Indian actress, model, and host
- August 6
- August 7
- August 8 – Katie Leung, Scottish actress
- August 14
- August 15 – Sean McAllister, English footballer
- August 18 – Mika Boorem, American actress
- August 19 – Nico Hülkenberg, German racing driver
- August 20
- August 21
- August 24 – Anže Kopitar, Slovene ice hockey player
- August 25
- Blake Lively, American actress
- Rona Nishliu, Albanian Kosovar singer, radio presenter and humanitarian
- Liu Yifei, Chinese actress
- Stacey Farber, Canadian actress
- Johanna Braddy, American film actress
- Amy Macdonald, Scottish singer and songwriter
- Justin Upton, American Major League Baseball right fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks
- September 2
- September 3 – James Neal, Canadian ice hockey player
- September 4 – Maryna Linchuk, Belarusian model
- September 7
- September 8 – Wiz Khalifa, American rapper
- September 9
- September 11
- September 15 – Clare Maguire, British singer-songwriter
- September 16 – Anthony Padilla, Internet comedian
- September 19 – Danielle Panabaker, American actress
- September 20 – Sarah Natochenny, American Voice Artist
- September 22 – Tom Felton, English actor
- September 23 – Skylar Astin, American actor
- September 24
- September 25 – Monica Niculescu, Romanian tennis player
- September 28 – Hilary Duff, American actress and singer
- September 29 – Kyle Riabko, Canadian pop singer, guitarist
- September 30
- October 2
- October 3 – Zuleyka Rivera, Puerto Rican beauty queen who held the titles Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2006 and Miss Universe 2006
- October 4 – Marina Weisband, German politician
- October 8 – Aya Hirano, Japanese voice actress and singer
- October 12 – Besian Idrizaj, Austrian footballer
- October 15 – Mizuho Sakaguchi, Japanese woman footballer
- October 16 – Seungho, South Korean pop singer (MBLAQ)
- October 18
- October 20 – Levy Li, Miss Malaysia Universe 2008
- October 22 – Donny Montell, Lithuanian singer-songwriter
- October 23 – Miyuu Sawai, Japanese actress
- October 24 – Charlie White, American figure skater
- October 27
- October 28
- October 29
- November 1
- November 3
- November 4
- November 5 – Kevin Jonas, American singer/songwriter
- November 6
- November 7 – Rachele Brooke Smith, American actress and dancer
- November 8
- November 11 – Yuya Tegoshi, Japanese singer (NEWS, Tegomass)
- November 12 – Jason Day, Australian golfer
- November 17 – Kat DeLuna, American singer
- November 18 – Jake Abel, American actor
- November 23
- November 24 – Elena Satine, American film actress and singer
- November 25 – Dolla, American rapper (d. 2009)
- November 28 – Karen Gillan, Scottish actress
- November 30
- December 2 – Teairra Marí, American singer
- December 3
- December 4
- December 6 – Jack DeSena, American actor
- December 7 – Aaron Carter, American singer and actor
- December 8 – Susanne Riesch, German alpine skier
- December 9 – Hikaru Nakamura Japanese American chess grandmaster
- December 10 – Gonzalo Higuaín, Argentine footballer
- December 12
- December 13 – Rachel Anne Daquis, Filipino volleyball player
- December 16 – Michael Lohan Jr., American actor
- December 18
- December 19
- December 20
- December 22 – Lisa Andreas, English singer of Cypriot descent
- December 25 – Demaryius Thomas, American football player
- December 27 – Lily Cole, British model
- December 28 – Thomas Dekker, American actor
- December 31
- January 6 – Harry D. Payne, American architect (b. 1891)
- January 9 – Arthur Lake, American actor, Dagwood Bumstead in Blondie (b. 1905)
- January 10 – Hakan Malmrot, Swedish swimmer (b. 1900)
- January 14 – Douglas Sirk, German-born film director, Hollywood melodramas Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, Written on the Wind, Imitation of Life (b. 1897)
- January 15 – Ray Bolger, American actor, singer, and dancer. Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (b. 1904)
- January 16
- January 19 – Gerald Brenan, British writer and Hispanist (b. 1894)
- January 21 – Charles Goodell, American politician (b. 1926)
- January 22 – Budd Dwyer, American politician (b. 1939)
- January 25 – Nahuel Moreno, Argentine Trotskyist leader (b. 1924)
- January 27
- January 29 – Emvin Cremona, Maltese artist (b. 1919)
- January 31 – Yves Allégret, French film director, Oscar nomination for The Proud and the Beautiful screenplay. Husband of Simone Signoret (b. 1905)
- February 2
- February 3 – Donald Aronow, creator of the Cigarette Boat (b. 1927)
- February 4 – Liberace, American pianist (b. 1919)
- February 5
- February 10
- February 14 – Dmitry Kabalevsky, Russian composer (b. 1904)
- February 20 – Lev Russov, Russian painter (b. 1926)
- February 22
- February 24 – Jim Connors, American radio personality (b. 1940)
- February 25
- James Coco, American actor, the unemployed actor in Only When I Laugh, and Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha (b. 1930)
- Elisabeth Coit, American architect (b. 1897)
- Florence Cayford, Labour politician in London (b. 1897)
- John Collin, English actor, Detective Sergeant Haggar in Z-Cars (b. 1931)
- Edgar Nixon, African-American civil rights leader (b. 1899)
- February 27 – Joan Greenwood, English actress (b. 1921)
- February 28 – Stephen Tennant, British aristocrat and playboy (b. 1906)
- (Date unknown) – Lou Darvas, American artist and cartoonist (b. 1913)
- March 2 – Randolph Scott, American actor (b. 1898)
- March 3 – Danny Kaye, American singer, actor, and comedian (b. 1911)
- March 7 – Waldo Salt, American screenwriter (b. 1914)
- March 11 – Joe Gladwin, English actor (b. 1906)
- March 12 – Woody Hayes, football coach at Ohio State (b. 1913)
- March 13
- March 15 – W. Sterling Cole, American politician, first Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (b. 1904)
- March 19 – Louis-Victor de Broglie, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
- March 21
- March 22 – Joan Shawlee, American actress (b. 1926)
- March 26
- March 28
- April 1 – Henri Cochet, French tennis champion (b. 1901)
- April 2
- April 3 – Tom Sestak, American football player (b. 1936)
- April 4 – C. L. Moore, American writer (b. 1911)
- April 11
- April 13
- April 15 – Masatoshi Nakayama, Japanese Karate Master (b. 1913)
- April 17
- April 19
- April 24 – Josephine Bell, English physician and writer (b. 1897)
- April 26 – John Ernest Silkin, British politician (b. 1923)
- April 28 – Ben Linder, American engineer (b. 1959)
- May 1 – Paul Geidel, longest serving American prison inmate (b. 1894)
- May 3 – Dalida, French singer (b. 1933)
- May 4
- May 6 – William J. Casey, American Central Intelligence Agency director (b. 1913)
- May 7 – Colin Blakely, Irish actor (b. 1930)
- May 8 – James Plimsoll, Australian public servant (b. 1917)
- May 9 – Thodoros Kefalopoulos, Greek actor (b. 1894)
- May 14 – Rita Hayworth, American actress (b. 1918)
- May 17 – Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1898)
- May 19 – James Tiptree, Jr., American author (b. 1915)
- May 21 – Alejandro Rey, Argentine actor (b. 1930)
- May 24 – Hermione Gingold, English actress (b. 1897)
- May 26 – Emiliana de Zubeldia, Spanish pianist and composer (b. 1888)
- May 27 – John Howard Northrop, American biochemist (b. 1891)
- June 1 – Errol Barrow, Prime Minister of Barbados (b. 1920)
- June 2
- June 3 – Will Sampson, American actor (b. 1933)
- June 6 – Fulton Mackay, Scottish actor (b. 1922)
- June 9 – Madge Kennedy, American actress (b. 1891)
- June 10
- June 11 – Ralph Guldahl, American golf champion (b. 1911)
- June 13
- June 20 – Salim Ali, Indian ornithologist and naturalist (b. 1896)
- June 22
- June 24 – Jackie Gleason, American actor and comedian (b. 1916)
- June 26
- June 30 – Federico Mompou, Spanish composer and pianist (b. 1893)
- July 2 – Michael Bennett, American theater director and choreographer (b. 1943)
- July 3 – Viola Dana, American actress (b. 1897)
- July 4 – Edward Addison, electrical engineering (b. 1898)
- July 10 – John Hammond, American record producer (b. 1910)
- July 12 – Joseph Burns, Major League Baseball outfielder (b. 1889)
- July 15 – Alfie Bass, British actor (b. 1916)
- July 17
- July 20 – Richard Egan, American actor (b. 1921)
- July 22 – Jack Lescoulie, American actor (b. 1917)
- July 26
- July 27 – Travis Jackson, American baseball player (New York Giants) and member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1904)
- July 28 – Jack Renshaw, Australian politician, former Premier of New South Wales (b. 1909)
- July 31 – Joseph E. Levine, American film producer (b. 1905)
- August 1 – Pola Negri, Polish born actress (b. 1897)
- August 6
- August 8 – Juan Antonio Yanes, Venezuelan professional baseball pioneer (b. 1902)
- August 9 – Terrence Michael Walsh, Australian singer, known as Johnny Dole (b. 1953)
- August 10 – Prince Yamashina Takehiko (b. 1898)
- August 11 – Clara Peller, American actress (b. 1902)
- August 16 – Nick Vanos, American basketball player (b. 1963)
- August 17
- August 19
- August 26 – Georg Wittig, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
- August 28 – John Huston, American film director and actor (b. 1906)
- August 29 – Lee Marvin, American actor (b. 1924)
- September 1 – Gerhard Fieseler, German World War I flying ace, aerobatics champion, and aircraft designer and manufacturer (b. 1896)
- September 3 – Rusty Wescoatt, American actor (b. 1911)
- September 4
- September 11
- September 12
- September 13 – Mervyn LeRoy, American film producer and director (b. 1900)
- September 15 – Trygve Dalseg, America Norwegian marketing agent (b. 1898)
- September 16 – Howard Moss, American poet, dramatist, and critic (b. 1922)
- September 17 – Harry Locke, British character actor (b. 1913)
- September 19 – Einar Gerhardsen, former Prime Minister of Norway (b. 1897)
- September 20
- September 21 – Jaco Pastorius, American bassist (b. 1951)
- September 22
- September 23
- September 25
- September 29 – Henry Ford II, president of Ford Motor Company (b. 1917)
- September 30 – Herbert Sobel, US Army officer, made famous by Band of Brothers (b. 1912)
- October 2
- October 3
- October 7 – Cedric Phatudi, Chief Minister of Lebowa bantustan (b. 1912)
- October 8 – Spencer Gordon Bennet, American film producer (b. 1893)
- October 9
- October 12
- October 13
- October 15 – Donald Wandrei, American writer (b. 1908)
- October 19
- October 20 – Andrey Kolmogorov, Russian mathematician (b. 1903)
- October 22 – Lino Ventura, Italian actor (b. 1919)
- October 23 – John Wittig, Danish actor (b. 1921)
- October 24 – Kelvin Martin, New York criminal (b. 1964)
- October 28 – André Masson, French artist (b. 1896)
- October 29 – Woody Herman, American jazz musician (b. 1913)
- October 30 – Joseph Campbell, American mythologist, author (b. 1904)
- November 1 – René Lévesque, Canadian politician and premier of Quebec (b. 1922)
- November 5
- November 6
- November 7 – Arne Borg, Swedish Olympic swimmer (b. 1901)
- November 8 – Matilde Cantos, Spanish feminist (b. 1898)
- November 10
- November 16 – Zubir Said, Singaporean composer who composed Singapore's national anthem (b. 1907)
- November 21 – Ivan Jandl, Czech actor (b. 1937)
- November 24 – Anton Pieck, Dutch painter, artist and graphic artist (b. 1895)
- November 25 – Zohar Argov, Israeli singer (b. 1955)
- November 26 – Duncan Sandys, British politician (b. 1908)
- November 27 – Henri Fluchère, chairman of the Société Française Shakespeare and a notable literary critic (b. 1898)
- November 30 – James Baldwin, American writer (b. 1924)
- December 1 – Punch Imlach, Canadian NHL coach (b. 1918)
- December 2
- December 3 – Pierre Mollaret, American neurologist (b. 1898)
- December 4 – Rouben Mamoulian, Armenian-American film director (b. 1898)
- December 10 – Jascha Heifetz, Lithuanian-born violinist (b. 1901)
- December 14 – Tim Dinsdale, British aeronautical engineer and Loch Ness Monster seeker (b. 1924)
- December 15 – Septima Poinsette Clark, American educator and civil rights activist (b. 1898)
- December 17 – Linda Wong, porn star (b. 1951)
- December 19 – Leo Jung, American rabbi (b. 1892)
- December 21
- December 22 – Alice Terry, American actress (b. 1899)
- December 23 – Harald Johnsson, Swedish politician (b. 1898)
- December 24 – Joop den Uyl, Dutch politician and journalist, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1973–1977) (b. 1919)
- December 25 – Ruf Bonner, Soviet Jewish exilee (b. 1900)
- December 27 – Priscilla Dean, American actress (b. 1896)
- December 29 – Patrick Bissell, American dancer (b. 1957)
- John Pierotti, American cartoonist (b. 1911)
- Huang Yao, Chinese artist (b. 1917)
- Syd Hartley, English professional association football player (b. 1914)
- Otto Klemperer, German physicist (b. 1899)
The following are references to year 1987 in fiction:
- 13 Going on 30 (2004): The scenes where Jenna is thirteen take place in New Jersey on May 26, 1987.
- American Psycho (2000): According to director Mary Harron on the DVD commentary, the film is set around the end of 1987. Patrick Bateman is seen reading Zagat's Survey of this year as well.
- Fargo (1996): The film takes place in Minnesota, 1987
- Adventureland (2009): The film takes place in Pittsburgh, summer 1987
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997): The year that Romy and Michele had their high school prom and graduated takes place in Los Angeles 1987
- Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (2009): The film takes place in Harlem, New York 1987.
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004): There is a picture of a fat White Goodman with the caption "White Goodman – 1987" on it.
- Rock of Ages (2012): The film takes place in Los Angeles 1987
- Dirty Girl The film takes place in Oklahoma 1987
- McFarland, USA (2015) The film takes place in McFarland, California 1987 based on a true story.
- Chasing Mavericks (2012) The scene where Jay is 8 years old takes place in Santa Cruz, California 1987
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013 film) The scene at the start with Jordan Belfort takes place in New York City 1987
- Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979): NASA launches the last of America's deep-space probes, the Space Shuttle Ranger 3, which is piloted by Captain William "Buck" Rogers.
- Set in 1987: the Doctor Who episode "Father's Day", 2005 takes place on November 7.
- Space: 1999 episode "The Rules of Luton" we learn that a world war, likely World War III, began sometime in 1987. It was described as The war to end all wars.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Bye Bye Nerdy", Bloo insists that Mac purchased something from a store named "1987 Store", however, the plan backfires.
- Physics – J. Georg Bednorz, Karl Alexander Müller
- Chemistry – Donald J. Cram, Jean-Marie Lehn, Charles J. Pedersen
- Medicine – Susumu Tonegawa
- Literature – Joseph Brodsky
- Peace – Óscar Arias Sánchez
- Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – Robert Solow
- "And Baby Makes Five Billion - U.N. Hails a Yugoslav Infant - NYTimes.com". July 12, 1987.
- "Accidental and fatal ejection over southern England [Archive] - PPRuNe Forums". pprune.org.
- "Russia's Demographic Decline Continues". prb.org.
- Fickenscher, Lisa. "The Bice empire comes back from the brink". News. Crains New York Business. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- Hearder, Jeremy, "Plimsoll, Sir James (1917–1987)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University, archived from the original on 28 September 2013