January 1 – UN sponsored ceasefire brings an end to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. The war results in a stalemate and the division of Kashmir, which is still continuing as of 2017.
January 2 – Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
January 4 – RMS Caronia of the Cunard Line departs Southampton for New York on her maiden voyage.
January 4 – February 22 – Series of winter storms in Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado and Nevada – winds of up to 72 mph – tens of thousands of cattle and sheep perish.
January 5 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman unveils his Fair Deal program.
January 11 – Los Angeles receives its first recorded snowfall.
January 16 – Şemsettin Günaltay forms the new government of Turkey. (18th government, last single party government of CHP)
January 17 – The first VW Type 1 to arrive in the United States, a 1948 model, is brought to New York by Dutch businessman Ben Pon. Unable to interest dealers or importers in the Volkswagen, Pon sells the sample car to pay his travel expenses. Only two 1949 models were sold in America that year, convincing Volkswagen chairman Heinrich Nordhoff the car had no future in the U.S. (The Type 1 went on to become an automotive phenomenon.)
January 19 – The Poe Toaster first appears at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.
January 20 – Harry S. Truman is sworn in for a full term as President of the United States.
Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA or COMECON) established by Soviet Union and other communist nations.
The first Emmy Awards are presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
In the first Israeli election, David Ben-Gurion becomes Prime Minister.
January 26 – Australian citizenship comes into being and the Constitution of India was prepared.
January 31 – Forces from the Communist Party of China enter Beijing.
February 1 – Rationing of clothes ends in Britain.
February 1 – Belgian astronomer Jean Meeus (b. 1928) asserts that the orbits of all the planets of the Solar System were within the same 90° arc of the Solar System on this date. The next time it is thought this will occur is on May 6, 2492.
February 10 – Arthur Miller's tragedy Death of a Salesman opens at the Morosco Theatre in New York City and runs for 742 performances.
February 11 – London Mozart Players perform their first concert at the Wigmore Hall, London.
February 13 – António Óscar Carmona is re-elected president of Portugal for lack of an opposing candidate.
February 17 – Chaim Weizmann begins his term as the first President of Israel.
February 19 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
Cincinnati Gardens opens in Cincinnati.
Grady the Cow, a 1,200-pound cow, gets stuck inside a silo on a farm in Yukon, Oklahoma and garners national media attention in the United States.
February 28 – Margaret Roberts, the future Margaret Thatcher, is adopted as the Conservative candidate for Dartford. She will go on to fight two elections in the constituency unsuccessfully in 1950 and 1951.
World heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis retires.
Indonesia seizes Yogyakarta from the Dutch.
March 2 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II under Captain James Gallagher lands in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight (it was refueled in flight 4 times).
March 17 – The Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas, owned by oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy, has its grand opening.
March 20 – The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Denver and Rio Grande Western, and Western Pacific railroads inaugurate the California Zephyr passenger train between Chicago and Oakland, California, as the first long distance train to feature Vista Dome cars as regular equipment.
March 21 – WTVJ signs on the air in Miami, Florida as the first station in the state.
March 24 – The 21st Academy Awards ceremony is held. The movie Hamlet wins the Academy Award for Best Picture.
March 25 – Operation Priboi: An extensive deportation campaign begins in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Soviet authorities deport more than 92,000 people from the Baltic states to remote areas of the Soviet Union.
March 26 – The first half of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida, conducted by legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, and performed in concert (i.e. no scenery or costumes), is telecast by NBC, live from Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center. The second half is telecast a week later. This is the only complete opera that Toscanini ever conducts on television.
United States Secretary of Defense James Forrestal resigns suddenly.
English astronomer Fred Hoyle coins the term Big Bang during a BBC Third Programme radio broadcast.
March 31 – The former British colony of Newfoundland joins Canada as its 10th province.
April 1 – The Tokyo Stock Exchange is founded.
April 4 – The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., creating the NATO defense alliance.
April 7 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, opens on Broadway and goes on to become R&H's second longest-running musical. It becomes an instant classic of the musical theatre. The score's biggest hit is the song "Some Enchanted Evening".
April 8 – Kathy Fiscus, 3½ years old, dies from falling down an abandoned well in San Marino, California.
April 14 – The day the N'Ko alphabet is held to have been completed by Solomana Kante.
April 18 – Ireland leaves the British Commonwealth and becomes the Republic of Ireland.
April 20 – The Royal Navy frigate HMS Amethyst goes up the Yangtze river to evacuate British Commonwealth refugees escaping the advance of Mao's Communist forces. Under heavy fire, she grounds off Rose Island. After an abortive rescue attempt on April 26, she anchors 10 miles upstream. Negotiations with the Communists to let the ship leave drag on for weeks, during which time the ship's cat Simon raises the crew's morale.
April 23 – Chinese Communist troops take Nanjing.
April 27 – British Commonwealth of Nations renamed The Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference issues the London Declaration, enabling India (and, thereafter, any other nation) to remain in the British Commonwealth despite becoming a republic, creating the position of 'Head of the Commonwealth', and renaming the organisation as the 'Commonwealth of Nations'.
Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon, 61, is assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 others are also killed.
April 29 – The News Review reveals that neither the English public school Selhurst College nor its headmaster H. Rochester Sneath exist, but are a hoax created by Humphry Berkeley.
May 1 – Nereid, a moon of Neptune, is discovered by Gerard Kuiper.
May 4 – Superga air disaster: The Fiat G.212 airliner of Avio Linee Italiane carrying the entire Torino F.C. football team, crashes into the back wall of the Basilica of Superga, killing all 31 on board.
May 5 – The Council of Europe is founded by the signing of the Treaty of London.
May 6 – EDSAC, the first practicable stored-program computer, runs its first program at Cambridge University.
May 9 – Rainier III of Monaco becomes Prince of Monaco, upon the death of his maternal grandfather Louis II.
Israel is admitted to the United Nations as its 59th member.
Siam officially changes its French name to "Thaïlande" (English name to "Thailand"), having officially changed its Thai name to "Prated Thai" since 1939.
May 12 – Cold War: The Soviet Union lifts the Berlin Blockade.
The AFSA (predecessor of the NSA) is established.
The Kuomintang regime declares Taiwan under martial law.
May 22 – After two months in Bethesda Naval Hospital, James Forrestal commits suicide, under circumstances that seem suspicious to many.
May 23 – The Federal Republic of Germany is established.
May 31 – First trial of Alger Hiss for perjury begins in New York with Whittaker Chambers as principal witness for the prosecution, but would end in a jury deadlock (8 for, 4 against)
June 2 – Transjordan changes name to the Kingdom of Jordan.
June 5 – Thailand elects Orapin Chaiyakan, the first Thai female member of Thailand's Parliament.
June 6 – With the passage of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act by the Indian government, Mahabodhi Temple is restored to partial Buddhist control.
Red Scare: Celebrities including Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson are named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.
George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is published in London.
June 14 – Albert II, a rhesus monkey, becomes the first primate to enter space, on U.S. Hermes project V-2 rocket Blossom IVB, but is killed on impact at return.
June 19 – Glenn Dunaway wins the inaugural NASCAR race at Charlotte Speedway, a 3/4 mile oval in Charlotte, North Carolina, but is disqualified due to illegal springs. Jim Roper is declared the official winner.
June 24 – The first television western, Hopalong Cassidy, airs on NBC.
Dock workers strike in the UK.
Apartheid: The South African Citizenship Act suspends the granting of citizenship to British Commonwealth immigrants after 5 years and imposes a ban on mixed marriages.
July 1 – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is established.
July 11 – Pamir is the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn under sail alone.
July 19 – The Kingdom of Laos is officially formed but is not independent from the French Army.
July 20 – Israel and Syria sign a truce to end their 19-month war.
July 27 – The de Havilland Comet, world's first jet-powered airliner, makes its first flight.
July 27 – Rhodesia beats the New Zealand All Blacks 10-8 in Bulawayo. It is the only non-Test nation to achieve this feat.
July 30 – Birth of legal aid in England and Wales.
July 31 – Captain Kerans of the HMS Amethyst decides to make a break after nightfall, under heavy fire from the Chinese People's Liberation Army on both sides of the Yangtze river, and successfully rejoins the fleet at Woosung the next day.
August 3 – The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League finalize the merger that would create the National Basketball Association.
August 5 – The 6.8 ML Ambato earthquake kills more than 5,000 and destroys a number of villages in Ecuador.
August 8 – Bhutan becomes independent.
August 12 – The Fourth Geneva Convention is agreed to.
The Salvatore Giuliano Gang explodes mines under a police barracks outside Palermo, Sicily.
A military coup in Syria ousts the president.
August 21 – Deportivo Saprissa enters Costa Rica – soccer's first division.
August 22 – The Queen Charlotte earthquake is Canada's largest earthquake since the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.
August 24 – North Atlantic Treaty Organization established.
August 28 – The last 6 surviving veterans of the American Civil War meet in Indianapolis.
The Council of Europe meets for the first time.
The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, code named "Joe 1". Its design imitates the American plutonium bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945.
August 31 – The retreat of the Greek Democratic Army in Albania after its defeat at Mount Grammos marks the end of the Greek Civil War.
September 2 – Film noir The Third Man, with screenplay by Graham Greene and set in Allied-occupied Vienna, is released in the United Kingdom; it wins the 1949 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
Howard Unruh, a World War II veteran, kills thirteen neighbors in Camden, New Jersey with a souvenir Parabellum P.08 pistol to become America's first single-episode mass murderer.
Allied military authorities relinquish control of former Nazi Germany assets back to Germany.
September 7 – The Federal Republic of Germany is officially founded. Konrad Adenauer is the first federal chancellor.
Albert Guay affair: A dynamite bomb destroys Canadian Pacific Airlines Douglas DC-3 in Quebec.
Notorious World War II veteran Edwin Alonzo Boyd commits his first career bank robbery in Toronto.
September 13 – The Soviet Union vetoes United Nations membership for Ceylon, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan and Portugal.
September 17 – The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burns in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives.
September 19 – The United Kingdom government devalues the pound sterling from $4.03 to $2.80, leading to many other currencies being devalued.
September 23 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman announces that the Soviet Union has tested the atomic bomb.
September 24 – László Rajk, ex-foreign minister of Hungary, is sentenced to death.
The First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference approves a design for the Flag of the People's Republic of China.
Iva Toguri D'Aquino is found guilty of broadcasting for Japan as "Tokyo Rose" during World War II.
October 1 – The People's Republic of China is officially proclaimed.
October 2 – The Soviet Union recognizes the People's Republic of China.
October 3 – Albanian Subversion: First Anglo-American attempt to infiltrate guerillas into Albania; the operation is fatally flawed by being under the control of double agent Kim Philby.
October 7 – The Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) is officially established.
October 13 – Severe flooding hits Guatemala.
October 14 – Foley Square trial of Eugene Dennis and ten other leaders of the Communist Party USA ends in New York City (the longest trial in US history to this date); all defendants are found guilty and all but one sentenced to five years of prison.
October 16 – Greek Civil War ends with a communist surrender.
October 17 – Chinese communist troops take Guangzhou.
October 24 – The cornerstone of the Headquarters of the United Nations on Manhattan is laid.
Chinese communist troops fail to take Quemoy in the Battle of Kuningtou; their advance towards Taiwan is halted.
1949 Air France Lockheed Constellation crash: An Air France flight from Paris to New York crashes in the Azores on São Miguel Island, killing all aboard. Among the victims are violinist Ginette Neveu and French boxer Marcel Cerdan.
November 15 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte are executed for assassinating Mohandas Gandhi.
November 17 – Second trial of Alger Hiss begins in New York, again with Whittaker Chambers as principal witness
November 24 – The ski resort in Squaw Valley, Placer County, California officially opens.
November 26 – The Indian Constituent Assembly adopts India's constitution .
November 28 – Winston Churchill makes a landmark speech in support of the idea of a European Union at Kingsway Hall, London.
December 7 – The government of the Republic of China finishes its evacuation to Taiwan, and declares Taipei its temporary capital city.
December 8 – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) established as a UN agency.
December 10 – Robert Menzies elected prime minister of Australia.
December 14 – Traicho Kostov, ex-vice prime minister of Bulgaria, is sentenced to death.
December 15 – A typhoon strikes a fishing fleet off Korea, killing several thousand.
December 16 – Sukarno is elected president of the Republic of Indonesia.
December 17 – Burma recognizes the People's Republic of China.
December 18 – In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 to win the championship.
December 27 – Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants Indonesia sovereignty.
December 30 – India recognizes the People's Republic of China.
The Currywurst is invented in Berlin.
The Malta Labour Party is founded.
The Vatican announces that bones uncovered in its subterranean catacombs could be those of the apostle Peter; 19 years later, Pope Paul VI announces confirmation that the bones belong to this first Pope.
The first 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun prototypes are completed.
1949 was the first year in which no African-American was reported lynched in the USA.
Joseph Stalin launches a savage attack on Soviet Jews, accusing them of being pro-Western and antisocialist.
Samuel Putnam publishes his new translation of Don Quixote, the first in contemporary English. It is instantly acclaimed and, in 2008, is still in print.
Fernand Braudel's La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l'Epoque de Philippe II is published.
Volkswagen Type 2 Bus is introduced.
Vehbi Akdağ, Turkish wrestler
Max Azria, French fashion designer
January 2 – Christopher Durang, American playwright
January 3 – Sylvia Likens, American murder victim (d. 1965)
January 7 – Chavo Guerrero Sr., professional wrestler
January 8 – Wolfgang Puck, Austrian chef
January 9 – Mary Roos, German singer
George Foreman, American boxer
Linda Lovelace, American actress (d. 2002)
January 11 – Daryl Braithwaite, Australian singer
Ottmar Hitzfeld, German football player and coach
Haruki Murakami, Japanese author
Wayne Wang, Hong Kong-born film director
January 13 – Brandon Tartikoff, American television executive (d. 1997)
January 14 – Lawrence Kasdan, American director and screenwriter
January 15 – Panos Mihalopoulos, Greek actor
January 16 – Caroline Munro, English actress and model
Andy Kaufman, American comedian and actor (d. 1984)
Gyude Bryant, Liberian politician (d. 2014)
January 18 – Philippe Starck, French designer
Robert Palmer, British rock singer (d. 2003)
Dennis Taylor, Irish snooker player
January 20 – Göran Persson, 31st Prime Minister of Sweden
January 22 – Steve Perry, American rock singer
John Belushi, American actor and comedian (d. 1982)
Nikolaus Brender, German television journalist
January 26 – David Strathairn, American actor
Gregg Popovich, American basketball coach
Mike Moore, 34th Prime Minister of New Zealand
Pat Musick, American voice actress
Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-American drummer (Ramones) (d. 2014)
Tommi Salmelainen, Helsinki, FIN
January 30 – Peter Agre, American biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Johan Derksen, Dutch footballer and sports journalist
Ken Wilber, American philosopher
Duncan Bannatyne, Scottish entrepreneur
Brent Spiner, American actor, comedian and singer
February 3 – Hennie Kuiper, Dutch cyclist
February 4 – Rasim Delić, Bosnian military chief of staff and war criminal (d. 2010)
February 6 – Jim Sheridan, Irish film director
Joe English, American drummer
Alan Lancaster, English bassist
February 8 – Brooke Adams, American actress
February 9 – Judith Light, American actress
February 10 – Maxime Le Forestier, French singer
February 15 – Ken Anderson, American NFL player
February 16 – Lyn Paul, English singer
February 17 – Dennis Green, American football coach (d. 2016)
February 18 – Gary Ridgway, American serial killer
February 19 – Dan Bunten, American computer game designer (d. 1998)
February 20 – Ivana Trump, Czech businesswoman
February 21 – Ronnie Hellström, Swedish footballer
February 22 – Niki Lauda, Austrian race car driver
February 25 – Ric Flair, American professional wrestler
February 28 – Ilene Graff, American actress and singer
Gates McFadden, American actress and choreographer
Eddie Money, American rock guitarist and singer
J.P.R. Williams, Welsh rugby player
Gloria Hendry, African-American actress
Jesse Jefferson, American baseball player (d. 2011)
March 5 – Franz Josef Jung, German politician
Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan
Martin Buchan, Scottish footballer
March 7 – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Indian politician
Kalevi Aho, Finnish composer
Tapani Kansa, Finnish singer
March 10 – Larry Wall, American computer programmer
March 11 – Georg Schramm, German psychologist and Kabarett artist
Rob Cohen, American film director, producer and writer
Natalia Kuchinskaya, Soviet gymnast
March 13 – Julia Migenes, American soprano
Erik Estrada, American actor and police officer
Victor Garber, Canadian actor
Elliott Murphy, American singer-songwriter
Patrick Duffy, American actor
Pat Rice, Irish footballer and football manager
March 18 – Alex Higgins, Northern Irish snooker player (d. 2010)
Hirofumi Hirano, Japanese politician and Chief Cabinet Secretary
Valery Leontiev, Soviet and Russian actor-singer
March 20 – Marcia Ball, American blues musician
March 21 – Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher
March 22 – Fanny Ardant, French actress
March 23 – Ric Ocasek, American rock musician
March 24 – Nick Lowe, English pop singer
Jon English, English-born Australian singer-songwriter and actor (d. 2016)
Vicki Lawrence, American comedian and game show hostess
Patrick Süskind, German writer
March 28 – Ronnie Ray Smith, American Olympic athlete (d. 2013)
March 29 – Michael Brecker, American jazz musician (d. 2007)
Elijah Harper, Canadian Aboriginal activist
Lene Lovich, American singer
Naomi Sims, American model and businesswoman
Gérard Mestrallet, French businessman
Sammy Nelson, Northern Irish footballer
Gil Scott-Heron, American musician and composer (d. 2011)
April 2 – Pamela Reed, American actress
April 3 – Richard Thompson, English musician and songwriter
April 4 – Parveen Babi, Bollywood Actress (d. 2005)
April 6 – Horst Ludwig Störmer, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
April 7 – Zygmunt Zimowski, Polish bishop (d. 2016)
Brenda Russell, American-Canadian singer, songwriter and keyboardist
Fanie de Jager, South African operatic tenor
April 10 – Daniel Mangeas, French bicycle commentator
April 11 – Bernd Eichinger, German film producer and director (d. 2011)
April 13 – Christopher Hitchens, English-American writer (d. 2011)
April 14 – John Shea, American actor
Alla Pugacheva, Russian musical performer
Aleksandra Ziółkowska-Boehm, Polish-born writer
April 16 – Sandy Hawley, Canadian jockey
Geoff Bodine, American race car driver
Bengt Holmström, Finnish-born economist, Nobel Prize laureate
April 19 – Sergey Nikolayevich Volkov, Russian figure skater (d. 1990)
Veronica Cartwright, English-born American actress
Jessica Lange, American actress
April 21 – Patti LuPone, American actress
Joyce DeWitt, American actress
Gyorgy Gedo, Hungarian Olympic boxer
April 24 – Véronique Sanson, French singer and songwriter
April 26 – Jerry Blackwell, American professional wrestler (d. 1995)
April 28 – Bruno Kirby, American actor (d. 2006)
April 30 – António Guterres, Prime Minister of Portugal and 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations
May 2 – Alan Titchmarsh, English gardener
May 3 – Leopoldo Luque, Argentine soccer player
May 4 – John Force, American race car driver
Billy Joel, American singer-songwriter and pianist
Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, military President of Niger (d. 1999)
May 13 – Zoë Wanamaker, American-British actress
May 14 – Sverre Årnes, Norwegian writer
Rick Wakeman, English rock musician and songwriter
Bill Wallace, Canadian rock musician (The Guess Who)
Dusty Hill, American bassist (ZZ Top)
Archie Manning, former American football player, father of Peyton and Eli Manning
May 20 – Dave Thomas, Canadian actor and comedian
May 22 – Chris Butler, American musician and songwriter (The Waitresses)
May 23 – Alan García Pérez, President of Peru
Jim Broadbent, English actor
Tomaž Pisanski, Slovenian mathematician
Jeremy Corbyn, British politician
Pam Grier, American actress
Philip Michael Thomas, American actor
Hank Williams, Jr., American country singer
May 27 – Jo Ann Harris American actress
May 29 – Francis Rossi, English rock guitarist/singer (Status Quo)
May 31 – Tom Berenger, American actor
June 2 – Heather Couper, British astronomer
June 4 – Mark B. Cohen, Pennsylvania legislative leader
June 8 – Emanuel Ax, Polish-born pianist
June 10 – Bora Dugić, Serbian musician and flautist
June 11 – Frank Beard, American drummer (ZZ Top)
June 13 – Ann Druyan, American popular science writer
Carlos María Abascal, Mexican lawyer (d. 2008)
Harry Turtledove, American historian and novelist
Papa Wemba, Congolese soukous musician (d. 2016)
Russell Hitchcock, English singer and musician (Air Supply)
Jim Varney, American actor (d. 2000)
June 16 – Robbin Thompson, American singer-songwriter (d. 2015)
June 17 – Andrei Fursenko, Russian politician, scientist and businessman
Jarosław Kaczyński, Prime Minister of Poland
Lech Kaczyński, President of Poland (d. 2010)
Prince Lincoln Thompson, Jamaican musician (d. 1999)
June 19 – Hassan Shehata, Egyptian footballer and coach
June 20 – Lionel Richie, American urban musician and was lead singer of Commodores
John Agard, Guyanese poet, playwright and children's writer
Jane Urquhart, Canadian author
Alan Osmond, American pop singer
Meryl Streep, American actress
Elizabeth Warren, American academic, politician, and U.S. Senator (D-Mass.) since 2013
June 25 – Kene Holliday, American actor
June 27 – Vera Wang, American fashion designer
June 30 – Andy Scott, Welsh singer-songwriter and guitarist
July 1 – John Farnham, Australian singer, recording artist and entertainer
July 2 – David Eaton, American composer, conductor and producer
Jan Smithers, American actress
Johnnie Wilder, Jr., American vocalist (d. 2006)
July 4 – Horst Seehofer, German conservative politician
July 6 – Noli de Castro, Filipino broadcast journalist and radio commentator, Vice President of the Philippines
July 7 – Shelley Duvall, American actress
Jesse Duplantis, American televangelist
Nigel Lythgoe, English television producer and personality
Émerson Leão, Brazilian footballer
Ingrid Newkirk, English-born American-based animal rights activist
July 13 – Helena Fibingerová, Czech athlete
Carl Bildt, 28th Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for Foreign Affairs
Trevor Horn, English pop singer and producer
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Arab sheikh, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Emir of Dubai, billionaire businessman and racehorse owner
Geezer Butler, English heavy metal bassist (Black Sabbath)
William C. Faure, South African film director
Charley Steiner, American sportscaster
Alan Menken, American composer
Lasse Virén, Finnish long-distance runner
July 24 – Michael Richards, American actor and comedian
Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand and businessman
Roger Taylor, English rock musician (Queen)
July 29 – Jamil Mahuad, President of Ecuador
July 31 – Mike Jackson, American basketball player
August 4 – John Riggins, American football player
August 6 – Alan Campbell, Northern Irish cleric
August 7 – Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese Druze
August 11 – Sandra Scheuer, Kent State University shooting victim (d. 1970)
Fernando Collor de Mello, 32nd President of Brazil
Mark Essex, American mass murderer (d. 1973)
Mark Knopfler, British rock guitarist (Dire Straits)
August 14 – Morten Olsen, Danish football player and manager
August 15 – Beverly Lynn Burns, American pilot, first woman in the world to captain the Boeing 747
August 16 – Barbara Goodson, American actress/voice actress
August 17 – Sue Draheim, American fiddler (d. 2013)
August 20 – Phil Lynott, Irish rock musician (d. 1986)
Loretta Devine, American actress
Daniel Sivan, Israeli professor
Shelley Long, American actress
Rick Springfield, Australian rock singer and actor
August 24 – Charles Rocket, American actor (d. 2005)
Martin Amis, English novelist
Gene Simmons, American rock musician (Kiss)
Martin Lamble, British electric folk musician (d. 1969)
Svetislav Pešić, Serbian basketball player and coach
August 30 – Peter Maffay, German singer
Richard Gere, American actor
H. David Politzer, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
September 1 – Leslie Feinberg, American transgender activist
Lee McGeorge Durrell, American author, television presenter, and zookeeper
Gloria Gaynor, American singer
Alain Mosconi, French swimmer, Olympic medalist and previous world record holder
Joe Theismann, American football player
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
September 10 – Bill O'Reilly, American conservative radio and television commentator
September 13 – John W. Henry, American foreign exchange advisor, Boston Red Sox owner
September 14 – Eikichi Yazawa, Japanese singer
September 15 – Joe Barton, American politician
Ed Begley Jr. American actor and environmentalist
Chrisye, Indonesian singer (d. 2007)
September 17 – Didith Reyes, Filipina singer (d. 2008)
Mo Mowlam, British politician (d. 2005)
Peter Shilton, English goalkeeper
Twiggy, English model
Richard Rogler, German Kabarett artist and professor of Kabarett at the University of the Arts in Berlin
September 22 – Dean Goss, American game show announcer and disc jockey
September 23 – Bruce Springsteen, American singer and songwriter
September 25 – Inshan Ali, West Indian cricketer (d. 1995)
September 26 – Jane Smiley, American novelist
September 27 – Mike Schmidt, American baseball player
October 1 – Isaac Bonewits, American author and occultist
Richard Hell, American musician and writer
Annie Leibovitz, American photographer
October 4 – Armand Assante, American actor
October 6 – Bobby Farrell, West Indian-born Dutch dancer (Boney M.) (d. 2010)
October 7 – Ronnie Mund, American television personality
Jerry Bittle, American cartoonist (d. 2003)
Sigourney Weaver, American actress
Carlos the Jackal, Venezuelan-born international terrorist
Stan Hansen, American professional wrestler
Katy Manning, English actress
Katha Pollitt, American writer
October 17 – Bill Hudson, American musician
October 20 – Valeriy Borzov, Ukrainian athlete
October 21 – Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
October 22 – Arsène Wenger, French football (soccer) manager
October 26 – Antonio Carpio, Filipino Supreme Court jurist
October 27 – Cheryl Keeton, American murder victim (d. 1986)
October 28 – Caitlyn Jenner, American transgender track and field athlete and reality star
October 30 – Pramod Mahajan, Indian politician and strategist (d. 2006)
Jeannie Berlin, American film actress
David Foster, Canadian musician, record producer, composer, singer, songwriter and arranger
Belita Moreno, American film actress
November 3 – Larry Holmes, American boxer
Armin Shimerman, American actor
Jimmie Spheeris, American singer-songwriter (d. 1984)
November 6 – Joseph C. Wilson, former United States diplomat
Aiswarya, Queen of Nepal (d. 2001)
Judi Bari, American environmental activist (d. 1997)
November 8 – Bonnie Raitt, American country singer and guitarist
November 15 – David Rubinstein, American pianist and composer
November 17 – John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
November 19 – Ahmad Rashād, American sportscaster and television personality
November 22 – Shaun Garnett, English footballer and coach
November 23 – Pat Condell, English comedian and internet personality
Nick Ainger, British politician
Pierre Buyoya, former President of Burundi
Mike Joy, NASCAR commentator
Kerry O'Keeffe, Australian cricketer and commentator
Shlomo Artzi, Israeli singer
Juanin Clay, American actress (d. 1995)
Alexander Godunov, Russian-born dancer and actor (d. 1995)
Paul Shaffer, Canadian-American musician
Jerry Lawler, American professional wrestler and commentator
Stan Rogers, Canadian musician (d. 1983)
Garry Shandling, American comedian (d. 2016)
Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug lord (d. 1993)
Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile
Kurt Schmoke, American Dean, Howard Law School, Mayor of Baltimore
December 3 – John Akii-Bua, Ugandan hurdler (d. 1997)
Jeff Bridges, American actor
Pamela Stephenson, New Zealand-born comedian, actress, and singer
James Rivière, Italian jeweler and designer
Tom Waits, American singer, composer, and actor
Cathy Wayne, Australian pop entertainer (d. 1969)
December 8 – Mary Gordon, American writer
Bill Nighy, English actor
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, 20th President of Portugal
Robert Lindsay, English actor
Randy Owen, American country lead vocalist, rhythm guitar player
Tom Verlaine, American rock singer/guitarist
December 14 – Bill Buckner, American baseball player
December 15 – Don Johnson, American actor
December 16 – Billy Gibbons, American guitarist (ZZ Top)
December 17 – Paul Rodgers, British rock singer
December 19 – Sebastian, Danish musician
December 20 – Claudia Jennings, American model (d. 1979)
Maurice Gibb, British rock musician (Bee Gees) (d. 2003)
Robin Gibb, British rock musician (Bee Gees) (d. 2012)
December 24 – Randy Neugebauer, American politician
Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, Brazilian singer
Sissy Spacek, American actress
Joe Louis Walker, American musician
Nawaz Sharif, Current Pakistani Prime Minister
December 26 – José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
December 27 – Klaus Fischer, German footballer
December 28 – Barbara De Fina, American film producer
Ali Al-Zein, Lebanese actor and voice actor
Suthep Po-ngam, Thai comedian, actor, film director and screenwriter
Mu Tiezhu, Chinese basketball player and coach (d. 2008)
January 6 – Victor Fleming, American director (b. 1889)
January 9 – Tommy Handley, British radio comedian (b. 1892)
January 8 – Yoshijirō Umezu, Japanese general (b. 1882)
January 11 – Nelson Doubleday, American publisher (b. 1889)
Harry Stack Sullivan, American psychiatrist (b. 1892)
Joaquín Turina, Spanish composer (b. 1882)
January 22 – Henry Slocum, American tennis player (b. 1862)
January 28 – Jean-Pierre Wimille, French race car driver (b. 1908)
February 1 – Herbert Stothart, American composer (b. 1885)
February 6 – Hiroaki Abe, Japanese admiral (b. 1889)
February 12 – Imam Hassan al-Banna, Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (b. 1906) (assassinated)
February 17 – Ellery Harding Clark, American athlete (b. 1874)
February 18 – Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, Spanish politician, former president of the II Republic (b. 1877)
February 21 – Tan Malaka, Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader (b. 1894)
March 7 – Bradbury Robinson, American who threw the first forward pass in American football history in 1906 (b. 1884)
March 11 – Henri Giraud, French general (b. 1879)
March 17 – Felix Bressart, German-American actor (b. 1892)
March 19 – James Somerville, British admiral (b. 1882)
March 25 – Jack Kapp, president of the U.S. branch of Decca Records (b. 1901)
March 28 – Grigoraș Dinicu, Romanian composer (b. 1889)
Friedrich Bergius, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1884)
Prince Harald of Denmark (b. 1876)
April 1 – Evelyn Owen, Australian gun designer (b. 1915)
April 6 – Seymour Hicks, British actor (b. 1871)
April 8 – Wilhelm Adam, German general (b. 1877)
April 15 – Wallace Beery, American actor (b. 1885)
April 18 – Will Hay, English comedian and actor (b. 1888)
April 19 – Ulrich Salchow, Swedish figure skater (b. 1877)
April 22 – Charles Middleton, American actor (b. 1874)
April 28 – Aurora Quezon, First Lady of the Philippines (shot) (b. 1888)
May 6 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1862)
May 9 – Louis II, Prince of Monaco (b. 1870)
May 19 – Paul Schultze-Naumburg, German architect, painter, publicist and politician (b. 1869)
James Forrestal, U.S. Secretary of Navy and Defense (b. 1892)
Klaus Mann, German writer (b. 1906)
May 23 – Jan Frans De Boever, Belgian painter (b. 1872)
May 27 – Robert Ripley, American creator of Ripley's Believe It or Not! (b. 1890)
Sigrid Undset, Norwegian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1882)
Carl Vaugoin, Austrian politician, 8th Chancellor of Austria (b. 1873)
June 14 – Russell Doubleday, American author and publisher (b. 1872)
June 19 – Syed Zafarul Hasan, Indian/Pakistani Muslim philosopher (b. 1885)
June 25 – Buck Freeman, American baseball player (b. 1871)
July 2 – Georgi Dimitrov, Bulgarian Communist leader and Prime Minister (b. 1882)
July 9 – Fritz Hart, English-born composer (b. 1874)
July 12 – Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland (b. 1860)
July 18 – Vítězslav Novák, Czech composer (b. 1870)
July 26 – Linda Arvidson, American actress (b. 1884)
August 5 – Ernest Fourneau, French chemist and pharmacologist (b. 1872)
Edward Thorndike, American psychologist (b. 1874)
Gustavus M. Blech, German-American physician and surgeon (b. 1870)
Harry Davenport, American actor (b. 1866)
G. E. M. Skues, British inventor of nymph fly fishing (b. 1858)
August 16 – Margaret Mitchell, American writer (b. 1900)
August 17 – Gregorio Perfecto, Filipino jurist and politician (b. 1891)
August 18 – Paul Mares, American musician (b. 1900)
August 23 – Domingo Díaz Arosemena, President of Panama (b. 1875)
August 30 – Arthur Fielder, English cricketer (b. 1877)
August 30 –Sevasti Qiriazi, Albanian educator and women's rights activist (b. 1871)
September 7 – José Clemente Orozco, Mexican painter (b. 1883)
September 8 – Richard Strauss, German composer (b. 1864)
September 10 – Wiley Rutledge, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1894)
September 13 – August Krogh, Danish zoophysiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1874)
Gottfried Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, German Resistance figure (b. 1901)
Pandeli Evangjeli, former Prime Minister of Albania (b. 1859)
September 18 – Frank Morgan, American actor (b. 1890)
Will Cuppy, American humorist (b. 1884)
George Shiels, Irish writer (b. 1886)
Nikos Skalkottas, Greek composer (b. 1901)
September 20 – Richard Dix, American actor (b. 1893)
September 22 – Sam Wood, American director (b. 1883)
October 1 – Buddy Clark, American singer (b. 1911)
October 14 – Fritz Leiber, American actor (b. 1882)
Elmer Clifton, American actor and director (b. 1890)
László Rajk, Hungarian Communist politician, former Foreign Minister (executed) (b. 1909)
Almanzo Wilder, American writer, and husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder (b. 1857)
John Robert Clynes, British trade unionist and Labour politician (b. 1869)
Marcel Cerdan, French boxer (b. 1916)
Ginette Neveu, French violinist (b. 1919)
October 29 – George Gurdjieff, Russian spiritual teacher (b. 1866)
October 31 – Edward Stettinius, Jr., U.S. Secretary of State (b. 1900)
November – María Josepha Sophia de Iturbide, head of the Imperial House of Mexico (b. 1872)
William Desmond, Irish actor (b. 1878)
Jerome F. Donovan, American politician (b. 1872)
November 3 – Solomon R. Guggenheim, American philanthropist (b. 1861)
November 5 – Abdolhossein Hazhir, 54th Prime Minister of Iran (b. 1899)
November 11 – Mun Bhuridatta, Thai Buddhist monk (b. 1871)
November 15 – Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mohandas Gandhi (b. 1910), and his accomplice, Narayan Apte (b. 1911)
November 19 – James Ensor, Belgian painter (b. 1860)
November 25 – Bill Robinson, American dancer (b. 1878)
November 30 – Dame Irene Vanbrugh, English actress (b. 1872)
Maria Ouspenskaya, Russian actress (b. 1876)
Philip Barry, American playwright (b. 1896)
December 6 – Lead Belly, American blues musician (b. 1888)
December 7 – Rex Beach, American novelist, playwright, and Olympic water polo player (b. 1877)
December 11 – Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya, Indian philosopher (b. 1875)
December 16 – Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (b. 1873)
December 25 – Leon Schlesinger, American producer and filmmaker (b. 1884)
December 28 – Hervey Allen, American author (b. 1889)
December 28 – Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (b. 1910)
December 31 – Raimond Valgre, Estonian composer and musician (b. 1913)
Zhang Haipeng, Chinese general (executed) (b. 1867)
Physics – Yukawa Hideki
Chemistry – William Francis Giauque
Medicine – Walter Rudolf Hess and António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz
Literature – William Faulkner
Peace – John Boyd Orr
1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (dominical letter B) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1949th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 949th year of the 2nd millennium, the 49th year of the 20th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1940s decade.