January – The National Committee for Modification of the Volstead Act is formed to work for the repeal of Prohibition in the United States.
January 2 – South Dakota native Ernest Lawrence invents the cyclotron, used to accelerate particles to study nuclear physics.
January 3 – Albert Einstein begins doing research at the California Institute of Technology, along with astronomer Edwin Hubble.
January 4 – German pilot Elly Beinhorn begins her flight to Africa.
January 6 – Thomas Edison submits his last patent application.
January 22 – Sir Isaac Isaacs is sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia.
January 25 – Mohandas Gandhi is again released from imprisonment in India.
January 27 – Pierre Laval forms a government in France.
January 30 – Release of the movie City Lights starring Charlie Chaplin.
February 3 – Hawke's Bay earthquake: Much of the New Zealand cities of Napier and Hastings are destroyed in an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale killing 256 people.
February 4 – Soviet leader Joseph Stalin gives speech calling for rapid industrialization, arguing that only strong industrialized countries will win wars while "weak" nations are "beaten". Stalin states : "We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us." Intensification of the First Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union for industrialization and collectivization of agriculture.
February 10 – Official inauguration ceremonies for New Delhi as the capital of India begin.
February 11 – National Socialist (NSDAP) and German National People's Party (DNVP) members walk out of the German Reichstag in protest against changes in the parliament's protocol intended to limit heckling.
February 12 – Vatican Radio first broadcasts.
February 14 – The original film version of Dracula with Bela Lugosi is released in the United States.
February 16 – Pehr Evind Svinhufvud is elected president of Finland.
February 20 – California gets the go-ahead by the United States Congress to build the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.
February 21 – Peruvian revolutionaries hijack a Ford Trimotor aeroplane and demand that the pilot drop propaganda leaflets over Lima.
March 1 – The USS Arizona is placed back in full commission after a refit.
March 1 – Sir Oswald Mosley founds the New Party as a breakaway from the Labour Party in the United Kingdom.
March 3 – The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the United States' National anthem.
March 5 – The British viceroy of India and Mohandas Gandhi sign the Gandhi–Irwin Pact.
March 7 – The new House of Representatives opens in Helsinki, Finland.
March 11 – The Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR programme, abbreviated as GTO, is introduced in the Soviet Union.
March 17 – Nevada legalizes gambling.
March 19 – Westminster St George's by-election in the U.K. results in the victory of the Conservative candidate Duff Cooper. The by-election has been treated virtually as a referendum on the leadership of the Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin, and Duff Cooper's victory ends the campaign by the press barons Lord Beaverbrook and Viscount Rothermere to oust Baldwin.
March 23 – Indian revolutionary leaders Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar are hanged for conspiracy to murder in the British Raj.
March 25 – The Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape.
March 27 – English writer Arnold Bennett dies of typhoid in London shortly after returning from a visit to Paris, where he drank local water to prove it was safe.
March 31 – An earthquake destroys Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000 people.
April 1 – The Second Encirclement Campaign against Jiangxi Soviet in China is launched by the Kuomintang government to destroy the Communist forces in Jiangxi province.
April 6 – The Portuguese government declares martial law in Madeira and in the Azores because of an attempted military takeover in Funchal.
April 9 – Argentinian anarchist Severino Digiovanni is executed.
April 12 – Municipal elections in Spain, which are treated as a virtual referendum on the monarchy, result in the triumph for the republican parties.
April 14 – The Second Spanish Republic is proclaimed in Madrid. Meanwhile, as a result of the victory of the Republican Left of Catalonia, Francesc Macià proclaims in Barcelona the Catalan Republic, as state of the Iberian Federation.
April 15 – The Castellammarese War ends with the assassination of Joe "The Boss" Masseria, briefly leaving Salvatore Maranzano as capo di tutti i capi ("boss of all bosses") and undisputed ruler of the American Mafia. Maranzano is himself assassinated less than 6 months later, leading to the establishment of the Five Families.
April 17 – After the negotiations between the republican ministers of Spain and Catalonia, the Catalan Republic becomes into Generalitat of Catalonia, a Catalan autonomous government inside the Spanish Republic.
April 22 – Austria, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States recognize the Spanish Republic.
April 25 – The automobile manufacturer Porsche is founded by Ferdinand Porsche in Stuttgart.
May 1 – Construction of the Empire State Building is completed in New York City.
May 4 – Kemal Atatürk is re-elected president of Turkey.
May 5 – İsmet İnönü forms a new government in Turkey (7th government).
May 11 – The Creditanstalt, Austria's largest bank, goes bankrupt, beginning the banking collapse in Central Europe that causes a worldwide financial meltdown.
May 13 – Paul Doumer is elected president of France.
May 14 – Ådalen shootings: Five people are killed in Ådalen, Sweden, when soldiers open fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration.
The Chinese Communists inflict a sharp defeat on the Kuomintang forces.
Pope Pius XI issues the encyclical Quadragesimo anno on the "reconstruction of the social order".
May 31 – The Second Encirclement Campaign against Jiangxi Soviet ends in defeat of the Kuomintang.
June 3 – Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory is put on display for the first time in Paris at the Galerie Pierre Colle.
June 5 – German Chancellor Dr. Heinrich Brüning visits London, where he warns the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald that the collapse of the Austrian banking system, caused by the bankruptcy of the Creditanstalt, has left the entire German banking system on the verge of collapse.
June 12 – English cricketer Charlie Parker equals J. T. Hearne's record for the earliest date to reach 100 wickets.
June 14 – Saint-Philibert disaster: the overloaded pleasure craft Saint-Philibert, carrying trippers home to Nantes from the Île de Noirmoutier, sinks at the mouth of the river Loire in France; over 450 drown.
In an attempt to stop the banking crisis in Central Europe from causing a worldwide financial meltdown, U.S. President Herbert Hoover issues the Hoover Moratorium.
The Geneva Convention (1929) relative to the treatment of prisoners of war enters into force.
June 23–July 1 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty accomplish the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane, flying eastabout from Roosevelt Field, New York, in 8 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes.
July – John Haven Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts perfects his negative pressure ventilator ("iron lung") just in time for the growing polio epidemic.
July 1 – Rebuilt Milano Centrale railway station officially opens in Italy.
July 9 – Irish racing driver Kaye Don breaks the world water speed record at Lake Garda, Italy.
July 13 – Royal soldiers shoot and kill 22 people demonstrating against the Maharaja Hari Singh of the Indian princely state of Kashmir and Jammu.
July 16 – Emperor Haile Selassie signs the first constitution of Ethiopia.
July 26 – The millennialist Bible Student movement adopts the name Jehovah's Witnesses at a meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
July 31 – The May Report in the United Kingdom recommends extensive cuts to government expenditure. This produces a political crisis as many members of the Labour Party (at this time in government) object to the proposals.
The 1931 China floods reach their peak in possibly the deadliest natural disaster yet recorded.
Warner Brothers releases the first Merrie Melodies cartoon, Lady, Play Your Mandolin.
August 9 – Referendum in Prussia for dissolving the Landtag ends with the "yes" side winning 37% of the vote, which is insufficient for calling the early elections. The elections are intended to remove the Social Democratic Party (SPD) government of Otto Braun, which is one of the strongest forces for democracy in Germany. Supporting the "yes" side were the NSDAP, the DNVP and the Communist Party (KPD) while supporting the "no" side were the SPD and Zentrum.
August 11 – Run on the British pound leads to political and economic crisis in Britain.
August 24 – The Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald resigns in Britain, replaced by a National Government of people drawn from all parties, also under MacDonald.
September 5 – John Thomson, Scottish football player, dies as the result of an accident during a Celtic–Rangers match.
September 7 – Second Round Table Conference on the constitutional future of India opens in London. Mahatma Gandhi represents the Indian National Congress.
September 10 – The worst hurricane in British Honduras history kills an estimated 1,500.
September 15 – Invergordon Mutiny: Strikes are called in the British Royal Navy due to decreased pay.
September 16 – Hanging of resistance leader Omar Mukhtar in Italian Libya.
Japanese military stage the Mukden Incident as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
Geli Raubal commits suicide in her uncle Adolf Hitler's apartment.
September 20 – With a gun literally pointed to his head the Chinese commander of Kirin province announces the annexation of that territory to Japan.
September 22 – The United Kingdom abandons the gold standard.
October – The Caltech Department of Physics faculty and graduate students meet with Albert Einstein as a guest.
October 4 – Dick Tracy, the comic strip detective character created by cartoonist Chester Gould, makes his debut appearance in the Detroit Mirror newspaper.
October 5 – American aviators Clyde Edward Pangborn and Hugh Herndon, Jr., complete the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean, from Misawa, Japan, to East Wenatchee, Washington, in 41½ hours.
October 11 – Rally in Bad Harzburg, Germany leads to the Harzburg Front being founded, uniting the NSDAP, the DNVP, the Stahlhelm and various other right-wing fractions.
American gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion in Chicago.
Leeds Bradford International Airport is opened as Leeds and Bradford Municipal Aerodrome in England.
October 24 – The George Washington Bridge across the Hudson River in the United States is dedicated; it opens to traffic the following day. At 3,500 feet (1,100 m), it nearly doubles the previous record for the longest main span in the world.
October 27 – United Kingdom general election results in the victory of the National Government and the defeat of Labour Party in the country's greatest ever electoral landslide.
The Chinese Soviet Republic is proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
Red China News Agency, a predecessor for Xinhua News Agency, officially founded and news wire service start in Ruijin, Jiangxi Province, China.
French police launch a large-scale raid against Corsican bandits.
The Panama Canal is closed for a couple of weeks due to damage caused by earthquakes.
Our Gang kid Darla Hood is born in Leedey, Oklahoma.
November 21 – The infamous Red-and-White Party, given by Arthur Jeffress in Maud Allan’s Regent's Park townhouse in London, marks the end of the "Bright young things" subculture in Britain.
Heavy hydrogen, later named deuterium, is discovered by chemist Harold Clayton Urey.
Ali Fethi Okyar forms a new government in Turkey (third government).
Release of James Whale's film of Frankenstein in New York.
December 5 – Original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow (1883) is dynamited by order of Joseph Stalin.
December 8 – Carl Friedrich Goerdeler is appointed Reich Price Commissioner in Germany to enforce the deflationary policies of the Brüning government.
December 9 – The Spanish Constituent Cortes approves the Spanish Constitution of 1931, effectively establishing the Second Spanish Republic.
Jane Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora is elected president of the Spanish Republic.
December 11 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom enacts the Statute of Westminster, which establishes a status of legislative equality between the self-governing dominions of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Irish Free State, Newfoundland, the Dominion of New Zealand and the Union of South Africa.
December 13 – Wakatsuki Reijirō resigns as Prime Minister of Japan.
December 26 – Phi Iota Alpha, the oldest surviving Latino fraternity, is founded in the United States.
Ust-Abakanskoye becomes Abakan.
January 2 – Toshiki Kaifu, 2-Time Prime Minister of Japan
Alvin Ailey, American choreographer (d. 1989)
Alfred Brendel, Austrian pianist
Robert Duvall, American actor and director
Fern Battaglia, American professional baseball player (d. 2001)
E. L. Doctorow, American author (d. 2015)
January 8 – Bill Graham, German concert promoter (d. 1991)
Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Malaysian politician and Muslim cleric (d. 2015)
Peter Barnes, English playwright and screenwriter (d. 2004)
January 12 – Roland Alphonso, Jamaican musician (d. 1998)
January 13 – Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor (d. 2007)
January 14 – Caterina Valente, French singer and actress
Ellen Holly, American actress
Johannes Rau, President of Germany (d. 2006)
January 17 – James Earl Jones, American actor
January 18 – Chun Doo-hwan, President of South Korea
Pat Hunt, New Zealand National Party politician
Robert MacNeil, Canadian journalist
January 20 – David Lee, American physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
January 22 – Sam Cooke, American singer (d. 1964)
January 24 – Lars Hörmander, Swedish mathematician (d. 2012)
January 25 – Dean Jones, American actor (d. 2015)
January 26 – Alfred Lynch, English actor (d. 2003)
January 27 – Mordecai Richler, Canadian author (d. 2001)
January 29 – Ferenc Mádl, President of Hungary (d. 2011)
January 30 – Allan W. Eckert, American historian, naturalist, and author (d. 2011)
January 31 – Ernie Banks, American baseball player (d. 2015)
February 1 – Boris Yeltsin, 1st President of Russia (d. 2007)
Dries van Agt, Dutch politician, 46th Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Les Dawson, British comedian (d. 1993)
Hillel Zaks, Polish-born Israeli rabbi (d. 2015)
Walter Burkert, German writer (d. 2015)
February 4 – Isabel Martínez de Perón, 41st President of Argentina
Rip Torn, American actor and director
Mamie Van Doren, American actress and author
February 8 – James Dean, American actor (d. 1955)
Thomas Bernhard, Austrian author (d. 1989)
Jack Van Impe, American televangelist
February 11 – Larry Merchant, American author and boxing commentator
February 13 – Geoff Edwards, American actor and game show host (d. 2014)
February 15 – Claire Bloom, English actress
George E. Sangmeister, American politician (d. 2007)
Ken Takakura, Japanese actor (d. 2014)
Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (d. 2007)
Toni Morrison, American writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Bob St. Clair, American football player (d. 2015)
February 24 – Brian Close, English cricketer
February 25 – Eric Edgar Cooke, Australian serial killer (d. 1964)
Dean Smith, American basketball coach (d. 2015)
Gavin MacLeod, American actor and Mayor of Pacific Palisades
Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
Tom Wolfe, American novelist and journalist
March 3 – John Smith, American actor (d. 1995)
Wally Bruner, American journalist and television host (d. 1997)
William Cardinal Keeler, American Roman Catholic prelate
Alice Rivlin, American economist
March 8 – Neil Postman, American media theorist and cultural critic (d. 2003)
Jackie Healy-Rae, Irish Politician (d. 2014)
León Febres Cordero, President of Ecuador (d. 2008)
Janosch, German writer
Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born publisher
March 12 – Herb Kelleher, American businessman
March 15 – Ted Marchibroda, American football player (d. 2016)
Shirley Stovroff, American female professional baseball player (d. 1994)
Vlastimil Bubník, Czech ice hockey and football player (d. 2015)
Hal Linden, American actor and singer
Karen Steele, American actress (d. 1988)
Burton Richter, American physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
William Shatner, Canadian actor
March 24 – Connie Hines, American actress (d. 2009)
March 26 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor and director (d. 2015)
March 27 – David Janssen, American actor (d. 1980)
Aleksei Gubarev, Russian cosmonaut (d. 2015)
Norman Tebbit, British politician
Ita Ever, Estonian actress
Rolf Hochhuth, German writer
April 5 – Héctor Olivera, Argentine film director, producer and screenwriter
April 6 – Suchitra Sen (Roma Dasgupta), legendary Bengali actress (d. 2014)
Luis Cabral, 1st President of Guinea-Bissau (d. 2009)
Mustafa Dağıstanlı, Turkish free-style wrestler
Johnny Sheffield, American child actor (d. 2010)
Helen Maksagak, Canadian, first Inuk and woman to be the Commissioner of both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (d. 2009)
Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet and translator, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (d. 2015)
April 27 – Igor Oistrakh, Ukrainian violinist
Frank Auerbach, German-born painter
Lonnie Donegan, Scottish musician (d. 2002)
May 6 – Willie Mays, American baseball player
May 7 – Teresa Brewer, American pop and jazz singer (d. 2007)
May 10 – Ichirō Nagai, Japanese voice actor (d. 2014)
András Hajnal, Hungarian mathematician
Jim Jones, American cult leader (d. 1978)
Jiří Petr, Czech university president
May 14 – Alvin Lucier, American composer
Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
Ken Venturi, American golfer (d. 2013)
Jack Dodson, American actor (d. 1994)
Natwar Singh, Indian politician
May 17 – Marshall Applewhite, Heaven's Gate religious sect founder (d. 1997)
Robert Morse, American actor
Don Martin, American artist (d. 2000)
May 19 – Éric Tappy, Swiss tenor
May 20 – Ken Boyer, American baseball player (d. 1982)
Barbara Barrie, American actress
Patience Cleveland, American actress and diarist (d. 2004)
May 25 – Georgy Grechko, Russian cosmonaut
May 27 – Faten Hamama, Egyptian actress (d. 2015)
May 28 – Carroll Baker, American actress
May 30 – Father John O'Brien, Irish priest and musician (d. 2008)
John Schrieffer, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
Shirley Verrett, American mezzo-soprano (d. 2010)
Viktor Tsaryov, Russian footballer (d. 2017)
Larry Jackson, American baseball player (d. 1990)
Raúl Castro, President of Cuba
Lindy Remigino, American athlete
June 7 – Malcolm Morley, English-born painter
June 8 – Dana Wynter, German-born American actress (d. 2011)
Jackie Mason, American comedian
Joe Santos, American actor
June 10 – João Gilberto, Brazilian musician
June 13 – Moysés Baumstein, Brazilian holographer and artist (d. 1991)
Kenneth Cope, English actor
Ross Higgins, Australian actor
Marla Gibbs, American comedic actress and singer
Junior Walker, American saxophonist and singer (d. 1995)
June 18 – Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil
Olympia Dukakis, American actress
Arne Nordheim, Norwegian composer (d. 2010)
Margaret Heckler, American Secretary of Health and Human Services
David Kushnir, Israeli former Olympic long-jumper
Les Vandyke, American musician
Martin Lipton, American lawyer
Ian Browne, Australian track cyclist
Teruyuki Okazaki, Japanese black belt in Shotokan Karate
Doris Cook, American pitcher and outfielder
Ola Ullsten, Swedish politician and diplomat
Charles Keith Taylor, Canadian politician
Juanita Quigley, American child actress
Emilio Fede, Italian anchorman, journalist and writer
Billy Casper, American golfer
Árpád Bárány, Hungarian fencer
George Petchey, English former footballer
Gaston Flosse, French politician
Stan Dromisky, Canadian liberal party
Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Prime Minister of India (d. 2008)
George Lois, American art director, designer, and author
Robert Colbert, American actor
Alan Bailey, former senior British civil servant
Colin Wilson, British writer (d. 2013)
Graziella Galvani, Italian stage, television and film actress
Charles Bronfman, Canadian / American businessman and philanthropist
Geoffrey Harcourt, Australian academic economist
Martinus J. G. Veltman, Dutch physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
Tom Stolhandske, American football linebacker
Junior Johnson, American NASCAR driver of the 1950s and 1960s
Jenny Glusker, British biochemist and crystallographer
Aleksandar Ivoš, Serbian footballer
Hans Alfredson, Swedish actor, film director, writer and comedian
Alina Obidniak, Polish theatre director and actress
Brian Hutton, Baron Hutton, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and British Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Richard L. Berkley, American politician
June 30 – Allan Jay, British foil and épée fencer
Leslie Caron, French actress
Chris Strachwitz, German-born American record label executive and record producer
Marilyn Hickey, American televangelist, speaker and author
Stanislav Grof, Czech psychiatrist
Seyni Kountché, former President of Niger (d. 1987)
Robert Ito, Canadian actor
Mohammad Yazdi, Iranian cleric
Frank Williams, English actor
Ray Rogers, American politician
Dickie Dowsett, English former professional footballer
Claude-Henri Chouard, French surgeon
Mick Cullen, Scottish footballer
Lyndell Petersen, American former politician
Peter Richardson, English former cricketer
Bill Gleeson, Australian rules footballer
Stephen Boyd, Irish actor (d. 1977)
Ryuzo Sato, Japanese economist
Aloysius Gordon, British-based Jamaican jazz pianist and singer
Peter Silverman, Canadian broadcast journalist
António de Macedo, Portuguese filmmaker and later a writer, university professor and lecturer
Ismail Mahomed, South African and Namibian Chief Justice (d. 2000)
Maralou Gray, American film, television, and theater actress
Louis Mexandeau, French politician
Antonella Lualdi, Italian actress and singer
Jean Campeau, French Canadian businessman and politician
Della Reese, American actress, singer and evangelist
Emily Nasrallah, Lebanese writer and women's rights activist
Robert Dunham, American actor and writer (d. 2001)
Russo (assistente de palco), Brazilian stage assistant at Rede Globo (d. 2017)
Alex South, English former footballer
Charles Oakley, American football player
Sunaryati Hartono, Indonesian attorney, lawyer, professor of law and government official
J. Joseph Curran Jr., American politician
Palle Kjærulff-Schmidt, Danish film director and screenwriter
David Eddings, American novelist (d. 2009)
Zach Monroe, American baseball player
Thorvald Stoltenberg, Norwegian politician
Lowell N. Lewis, American plant physiology professor
Sylvia Bacon, American judge
Rodney Anderson, American politician
Thomas A. Pankok, American Democratic Party politician
Morris Chang, Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (TSMC) in 1987
Nick Adams, American actor (d. 1968)
Julian May, American science fiction, fantasy, horror, science
Alice Munro, Canadian writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Tab Hunter, American actor and singer (Damn Yankees)
Yasuo Ōtsuka, Japanese animator
James Cellan Jones, British television and film director
Jim Cairney, Scottish former professional footballer
Ernie Colón, American born Puerto Rico comics artist known
Frank Ramsey, American former professional basketball player and coach
Maria Musso, Italian sprinter and pentathlete
NK Lučko, Croatian football player
Joanna Merlin, American actress
Clive Cussler, American author
Andrzej Kryński, Polish fencer
Fergus Gordon Kerr, Scottish Roman Catholic priest of the English Dominican Province
Norm Sherry, American former catcher, manager, and coach in Major League Baseball
July 17 – Caroline Graham, English playwright, screenwriter and novelist
July 18 – Mark Pharaoh, English track and field athlete
Mary Lou Studnicka, American female professional baseball player
Allan Slaight, Canadian rock and roll pioneer, media mogul, and philanthropist
July 20 – Gilles Morin, Canadian politician
July 23 – Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Māori queen (d. 2006)
July 26 – Fred Foster, American songwriter and record producer
July 27 – Jerry Van Dyke, American comedian and actor
August 2 – Ruth Maria Kubitschek, German actress
August 7 – Charles E. "Charlie" Rice, American legal scholar and author
August 9 – Mário Zagallo, Brazilian football player and manager
August 10 – Tom Laughlin, American actor (Billy Jack) (d. 2013)
August 12 – William Goldman, American author
Joe Feeney, American singer (d. 2008)
Richard F. Heck, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 2015)
August 16 – Marion Patrick Jones, Trinidadian writer (d. 2016)
Hans van Mierlo, Dutch politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister (d. 2010)
Bramwell Tillsley, General of The Salvation Army
August 19 – Willie Shoemaker, American jockey (d. 2003)
August 20 – Don King, American boxing promoter
Barbara Eden, American actress and singer
Lyle Lahey, American cartoonist (d. 2013)
Hamilton O. Smith, American microbiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Hal Fishman, Los Angeles based local news anchor (d. 2007)
Regis Philbin, American television personality
August 27 – Sri Chinmoy, Bengali spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete who immigrated to the U.S. in 1964 (d. 2007)
Shunichiro Okano, Japanese football player and manager (d. 2017)
John Shirley-Quirk, English bass-baritone (d. 2014)
Jacques Braunstein, Romanian-born Venezuelan economist, publicist and disc jockey (d. 2009)
Jack Swigert, American astronaut (d. 1982)
Jean Béliveau, Canadian hockey player (d. 2014)
Kenny Burrell, American jazz musician
Noble Willingham, American actor (d. 2004)
Cecil Parkinson, British politician (d. 2016)
Javier Solís, Mexican ranchera & bolero singer (d. 1966)
September 4 – Mitzi Gaynor, American actress, singer and dancer
September 8 – Jack Rosenthal, English playwright (d. 2004)
September 10 – Philip Baker Hall, American actor
Ian Holm, British actor
George Jones, American country music singer and songwriter (d. 2013)
September 13 – Barbara Bain, American actress
September 15 – Brian Henderson, Australian broadcaster
September 17 – Anne Bancroft, American actress (d. 2005)
Gertrude Alderfer, American female professional baseball player
Gloria Cordes, American female professional baseball player
Larry Hagman, American actor and director (d. 2012)
Fay Weldon, British author
George Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie, British politician (d. 2003)
September 23 – Gerald Merrithew, Canadian educator and statesman (d. 2004)
September 27 – Freddy Quinn, Austrian singer and actor
James Watson Cronin, American nuclear physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (d. 2016)
Anita Ekberg, Swedish actress (d. 2015)
Angie Dickinson, American actress
Wesley L. Fox, U.S. Marine Corps officer
October 1 – Alan Wagner, American opera critic (d. 2007)
October 2 – Morris Cerullo, American televangelist
October 3 – Denise Scott Brown, American architect
October 6 – Riccardo Giacconi, Italian-born physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
Cotton Fitzsimmons, American basketball coach (d. 2004)
Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican archbishop and activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
October 13 – Eddie Mathews, baseball player (d. 2001)
October 15 – Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, President of India (d. 2015)
James Chace, American historian (d. 2004)
Rosa Rosal, Filipino actress and humanitarian
Charles Colson, American politician; Watergate conspirator (d. 2012)
José Alencar, Brazilian politician (d. 2011)
Ernst Hinterberger, Austrian writer (d. 2012)
John le Carré, English novelist
Manolo Escobar, Spanish singer and actor. (d. 2013)
October 20 – Mickey Mantle, American baseball player (d. 1995)
October 21 – Shammi Kapoor, Indian film actor and director (d. 2011)
October 22 – Ann Rule, American true-crime writer (d. 2015)
Jim Bunning, American baseball player and U.S. Senator
Diana Dors, English actress (d. 1984)
October 25 – Jimmy McIlroy, Irish footballer and football manager
October 26 – Hank Garrett, American actor and comedian
October 28 – Harold Battiste, American composer and arranger (d. 2015)
October 31 – Dan Rather, American television news reporter
November 2 – Phil Woods, American saxophonist (d. 2015)
Michael Fu Tieshan, Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association bishop (d. 2007)
Monica Vitti, Italian actress
November 4 – Marie Mansfield, American professional baseball player
November 5 – Ike Turner, African-American singer and songwriter (d. 2007)
November 6 – Mike Nichols, German-American television actor, writer and director (d. 2014)
Darla Hood, American actress, voice actress, and singer (d. 1979)
Morley Safer, Canadian journalist (d. 2016)
November 9 – Whitey Herzog, American baseball player
November 10 – Don Henderson, British actor (d. 1997)
November 12 – Mary Louise Wilson, American actress and singer
November 15 – Mwai Kibaki, third President of Kenya
November 16 – Hubert Sumlin, American blues musician (d. 2011)
Revaz Dogonadze, Georgian physicist (d. 1985)
Malcolm Williamson, Australian composer (d. 2003)
November 26 – Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentine activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
Dervla Murphy, Irish author
Tomi Ungerer, French book illustrator and writer
November 29 – Shintaro Katsu, Japanese actor (d. 1997)
Jimmy Lyons, American musician (d. 1986)
Jim Nesbitt, American country music singer (d. 2007)
Nigel Calder, British science writer (d. 2014)
Edwin Meese, American attorney, law professor, and author; 75th Attorney General of the United States (1985–1988)
December 3 – Jaye P. Morgan, American singer, chanteuse
December 9 – Ladislav Smoljak, Czech film and theater director, actor and screenwriter (d. 2010)
December 11 – Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican-American actress
December 12 – Lionel Blair, British actor, choreographer, dancer, headmaster and TV presenter
December 15 – Klaus Rifbjerg, Danish writer (d. 2015)
December 17 – Dave Madden, Canadian American actor (d. 2014)
December 23 – Ronnie Schell, American actor
December 24 – Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer (d. 2008)
Edward E. Hammer, American electrical engineer and inventor (d. 2012)
John Charles, Welsh international footballer (d. 2004)
December 28 – Martin Milner, American actor (d. 2015)
December 30 – Skeeter Davis, American singer (d. 2004)
December 31 – Bob Shaw, Irish writer (d. 1996)
January 3 – Joseph Joffre, French World War I general (b. 1852)
Art Acord, American actor (b. 1890)
Roger Connor, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1857)
Louise, Princess Royal, British royal, eldest daughter of Edward VII of the United Kingdom (b. 1867)
January 11 – James Milton Carroll, Baptist pastor, historian, and author (b. 1852)
January 14 – Hardy Richardson, American baseball player (b. 1855)
January 22 – Alma Rubens, American actress (b. 1897)
Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (b. 1881)
Ernst Seidler von Feuchtenegg, former Minister-President of Austria (b. 1862)
February 11 – Charles Algernon Parsons, British inventor (b. 1854)
February 16 – Wilhelm von Gloeden, German photographer (b. 1856)
February 18 – Louis Wolheim, American actor (b. 1880)
Eduard von Capelle, German admiral (b. 1855)
Dame Nellie Melba, Australian soprano (b. 1861)
February 26 – Otto Wallach, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1847)
February 28 – Thomas S. Rodgers, American admiral (b. 1858)
March 5 – Arthur Tooth, Anglican clergyman (b. 1839)
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Finnish painter (b. 1865)
Theo van Doesburg, Dutch painter (b. 1883)
March 11 – F. W. Murnau, German director (b. 1888)
Joseph B. Murdock, United States Navy admiral and New Hampshire politician (b. 1851)
March 21 – Bhagat Singh, Indian revolutionary (b. 1908)
March 22 – James Campbell, 1st Baron Glenavy, Irish lawyer and politician (b. 1851)
March 24 – Robert Edeson, American actor (b. 1868)
March 25 – Ida Wells, African-American lynching crusader.
March 27 – Arnold Bennett, English novelist (b. 1867)
March 28 – Ban Johnson, American baseball executive (b. 1864)
March 31 – Knute Rockne, American football coach (b. 1888)
April 8 – Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1864)
April 9 – Nicholas Longworth, American politician, Speaker of the House (b. 1869)
April 10 – Khalil Gibran, Lebanese poet and painter (b. 1883)
April 14 – Richard Armstedt, German historian (b. 1851)
April 15 – Joe Masseria, Italian-born American gangster (b. 1886)
April 20 – Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, British baronet and Titanic survivor (b. 1862)
April 26 – George Herbert Mead, American philosopher, sociologist and psychologist (b. 1863)
April 30 – Sammy Woods, English cricketer (b. 1867)
May 2 – George Fisher Baker, American financier and philanthropist (b. 1840)
May 9 – Albert Abraham Michelson, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
May 14 – David Belasco, American Broadway impresario, theater owner and playwright (b. 1853)
June 2 – Joseph W. Farnham, American screenwriter (b. 1884)
June 4 – Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, Arab nationalist
June 8 – Virginia Frances Sterrett, American artist and illustrator (b. 1900)
Buddie Petit, American jazz musician
Prince Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta (b. 1869)
July 12 – Nathan Söderblom, Swedish archbishop, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1866)
August 6 – Bix Beiderbecke, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1903)
August 15 – Nigar Shikhlinskaya, Azerbaijani World War I nurse (b. ca. 1878)
Frank Harris, Irish author and editor (b. 1856)
Hamaguchi Osachi, 27th Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1870)
August 27 – Francis Marion Smith, American businessman (b. 1846)
September 5 – John Thomson, Scottish footballer (b. 1909)
September 10 – Salvatore Maranzano, Italian-American mobster (b. 1886)
Francis J. Higginson, United States Navy admiral (b. 1843)
Joseph Le Brix, French aviator and naval officer (b. 1899)
September 16 – Omar Mukhtar, the leader of Libyan resistance (b. 1858)
Marcello Amero D'Aste, Italian admiral and politician (b. 1853)
Marvin Hart, American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (b. 1876)
September 18 – Geli Raubal, Hitler's niece (b. 1908)
September 19 – David Starr Jordan, American ichthyologist, educator, eugenicist, and peace activist (b. 1851)
October 3 – Carl Nielsen, Danish composer (b. 1865)
October 13 – Ernst Didring, Swedish writer (b. 1868)
October 18 – Thomas Edison, American inventor (b. 1847)
October 21 – Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian author and dramatist (b. 1862)
October 24 – Sir Murray Bisset, South African cricketer and Governor of Southern Rhodesia (b. 1876)
November 4 – Buddy Bolden, African-American musician (b. 1877)
November 6 – Jack Chesbro, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1874)
November 11 – Shibusawa Eiichi, Japanese industrialist (b. 1840)
November 13 – Ivan Fichev, Bulgarian general, minister of defense, military historian, and academician (b. 1860)
November 20 – Julius Drewe, English businessman, retailer and entrepreneur (b. 1856)
November 21 – Bruno von Mudra, German general (b. 1851)
December 2 – Vincent d'Indy, French composer (b. 1851)
December 5 – Vachel Lindsay, American poet (b. 1879)
December 9 – Antonio Salandra, Italian statesman, 21st Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1853)
December 18 – Jack Diamond, American gangster (b. 1897)
December 23 – Tyrone Power, Sr., American actor (b. 1869)
December 26 – Melvil Dewey, American librarian, inventor of Dewey Decimal Classification (b. 1851)
December 27 – José Figueroa Alcorta, 16th President of Argentina (b. 1860)
Physics – not awarded
Chemistry – Carl Bosch, Friedrich Bergius
Physiology or Medicine – Otto Heinrich Warburg
Literature – Erik Axel Karlfeldt
Peace – Jane Addams, Nicholas Murray Butler
1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1931st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 931st year of the 2nd millennium, the 31st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1930s decade.