January 2 – José Antonio Remón Cantera, president of Panama, is assassinated at a race track in Panama City.
January 3 – José Ramón Guizado becomes president of Panama.
January 7 – Marian Anderson is the first African-American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
January 17 – USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, puts to sea for the first time, from Groton, Connecticut.
January 18–January 20 – Battle of Yijiangshan Islands: The Chinese Communist People's Liberation Army seizes the islands from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
January 22 – In the United States, The Pentagon announces a plan to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) armed with nuclear weapons.
January 23 – Sutton Coldfield rail crash kills 17 near Birmingham, England.
January 25 – Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union announces the end of the war between the USSR and Germany, which began during World War II in 1941.
January 28 – United States Congress authorizes President Dwight D. Eisenhower to use force to protect Formosa from the People's Republic of China.
February 4 – "Baghdad Pact": Military treaty signed between Iraq and Turkey.
February 9 – Apartheid in South Africa: 60,000 non-white residents of the Sophiatown suburb of Johannesburg are forcibly evicted.
February 10 – The United States Seventh Fleet helps the Republic of China evacuate Chinese Nationalist army and residents from the Tachen Islands to Taiwan.
February 12 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the first U.S. advisors to South Vietnam.
February 14 – WFLA-TV signs on the air in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.
February 16 – Nearly 100 die in a fire at a home for the elderly in Yokohama, Japan.
February 19 – Southeast Asia Treaty Organization established at a meeting in Bangkok.
February 22 – In Chicago's Democratic primary, Mayor Martin H. Kennelly loses to the head of the Cook County Democratic Party, Richard J. Daley, 364,839 to 264,77.
March – A young Jim Henson builds the first version of Kermit the Frog.
Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old African-American girl, refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white woman after the driver demands it. She is carried off the bus backwards while being kicked and handcuffed and harassed on the way to the police station. She becomes a plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle (1956) which rules bus segregation to be unconstitutional.
Serious floods in Australia.
WBBJ-TV signs on the air in the Jackson, Tennessee, with WDXI as its initial call-letters, to expanded American commercial television in mostly-rural areas.
Elvis Presley makes his television debut on "Louisiana Hayride" carried by KSLA-TV Shreveport (although audio recordings exists, there is no known video footage of this appearance).
March 7 – The Broadway musical version of Peter Pan, which had opened in 1954 starring Mary Martin, is presented on television for the first time by NBC-TV with its original cast, as an installment of Producers' Showcase. It is also the first time that a stage musical is presented in its entirety on TV almost exactly as it was performed on stage. This program gains the largest viewership of a TV special up to this time, and it becomes one of the first great TV family musical classics.
March 17 – Richard Riot in Montreal: 6,000 people protest the suspension of French Canadian ice hockey star Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens by the National Hockey League following a violent incident during a match.
March 19 – KXTV signs on the air in Sacramento, California.
March 20 – The movie adaptation of Evan Hunter's novel Blackboard Jungle premieres in the United States, featuring the famous single "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets. Teenagers jump from their seats to dance to the song.
April 1 – EOKA A starts a terrorist campaign against British rule in the Crown colony of Cyprus.
Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom due to ill-health at the age of 80.
Richard J. Daley defeats Robert Merrian to become Mayor of Chicago by a vote of 708,222 to 581,555.
April 6 – Anthony Eden becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
April 10 – in the NBA, the Syracuse Nationals defeat the Fort Wayne Pistons 92-91 in game seven to win the title.
The Taiwanese Kuomintang put a time-bomb on the airplane Kashmir Princess, killing 16 but failing to assassinate the People's Republic of China leader, Zhou Enlai.
Taekwondo, a famous for Korean martial arts, officially recognized as naming in South Korea.
April 12 – The Salk polio vaccine, having passed large-scale trials earlier in the United States, receives full approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
April 14 – The Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup for the 7th time in franchise history, but will not win again until 1997.
Middle East Treaty Organization (METO).
Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois.
April 16 – Burma-Japanese peace treaty, signed in Rangoon on November 5, 1954, comes into effect, formally ending a state of war between the two countries that has not existed for a long time.
April 17 – Imre Nagy, the communist Premier of Hungary, is ousted for being too moderate.
April 18–April 24 – Asian-African Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia.
May 1 – Warsaw Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance signed (Warsaw Treaty Organization) (effective June 6).
May 5 – West Germany becomes a sovereign country recognized by important Western foreign countries, such as France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
May 6 – Western European Union charter effective.
May 7 – The last time Newcastle United won a domestic title.
May 9 – West Germany joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
May 11 – Japanese National Railways' ferry Shiun Maru sinks after collision with sister ship Uko Maru in thick fog off Takamatsu, Shikoku, in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan; 166 passengers (many children) and two crew are killed. This event is influential in plans to construct the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge (built 1986-98).
May 12– New York's Third Avenue Elevated runs its last train between Chathem Square in Manhattan and East 149th Street in the Bronx, thus ending elevated train service in Manhattan.
May 14 – Eight Communist Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, sign a mutual defence treaty in Warsaw, Poland, that is called the Warsaw Pact. It will be dissolved in 1991.
May 15 – Austrian State Treaty, which restores Austria's national sovereignty, is concluded between the four occupying powers following World War II (the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, and France) and Austria, setting it up as a neutral country.
May 25 – Joe Brown and George Band are the first to attain the summit of Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas, as part of a British team led by Charles Evans.
June 7 – The television quiz program The $64,000 Question premieres on CBS-TV in the United States, with Hal March as the host.
June 11 – Le Mans disaster: Eighty-three people are killed and at least 100 are injured after two race cars collide in the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans.
June 13 – Mir mine, the first diamond mine in the Soviet Union, is discovered.
June 16 – Lady and the Tramp, the Walt Disney company's 15th animated film, premieres in Chicago.
June 26 – Freedom Charter of the anti-apartheid South African Congress Alliance adopted at a Congress of the People in Kliptown.
July 7 – The New Zealand Special Air Service is formed.
July 13 – Ruth Ellis is hanged for murder in London, becoming the last woman ever to be executed in the United Kingdom.
The American Broadcasting Company broadcasts a sneak preview of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Disneyland opens to the public in Anaheim, California.
The first nuclear-generated electrical power is sold commercially, partially powering the town of Arco, Idaho.
The Illinois Governor, William Stratton, signs the "Loyalty Oath Act", passed by the State Legislature, which mandates all public employees take a loyalty oath to Illinois and the United States, or lose their jobs.
The first Geneva Summit meeting between the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France begins. It ends on July 23.
July 27 – El Al Flight 402 from Vienna, Austria to Tel Aviv via Istanbul is shot down over Bulgaria. All 58 passengers and crewmen aboard the Lockheed Constellation airplane are killed.
July 28 – The first Interlingua Congress in Tours, France, leading to foundation of the Union Mundial pro Interlingua.
The First Sudanese Civil War begins.
First meeting of the Organization of Central American States (Organización de Estados Centroamericanos, ODECA), in Antigua Guatemala.
August 19 – Hurricane Diane hits the northeastern United States, killing over 200 people, and causing over $1.0 billion in damage.
August 20 – Hundreds of people are killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.
August 22 – Eleven schoolchildren are killed when their school bus is hit by a freight train in Spring City, Tennessee.
August 25 – The last Soviet Army occupation forces leave Austria.
August 26 – Release in India of Satyajit Ray's film Pather Panchali.
August 27 – First edition of the Guinness Book of Records is published, in London.
September 2 – Under the guidance of Dr. Humphry Osmond, Christopher Mayhew ingests 400 mg of mescaline hydrochloride and allows himself to be filmed as part of a Panorama special for BBC TV in the U.K. that is never broadcast.
September 6 – Istanbul pogrom: Istanbul's Greek minority is the target of a government-sponsored pogrom.
September 10 – The long-running program Gunsmoke debuts on the CBS-TV network.
September 14 – Pope Pius XII elevates many of the Apostolic vicariates in Africa to Metropolitan Archdioceses
September 15 – Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita is published in Paris by Olympia Press.
September 18 – The United Kingdom formally annexes the uninhabited island of Rockall.
September 19–September 21 – The President of Argentina, Juan Perón, is ousted in a military coup.
September 19 – Hurricane Hilda kills about 200 people in Mexico.
September 22 – Independent Commercial Television (ITV) begins broadcasting in the United Kingdom.
September 24 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States suffers a coronary thrombosis while on vacation in Denver, Colorado. Vice President Nixon serves as Acting President while Eisenhower recovers.
October 2 – Alfred Hitchcock Presents debuts on the CBS TV network in the United States.
October 3 – The Mickey Mouse Club debuts on the ABC-TV network in the United States.
October 4 – The Reverend Sun Myung Moon is released from prison in Seoul, South Korea.
October 5 – Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California.
October 11 – 70-mm film for projection is introduced with the theatrical release of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical film, Oklahoma!.
October 14 – Organization of Central American States secretariat inaugurated.
October 20 – Disc jockey Bill Randle of WERE (Cleveland) is the key presenter of a concert at Brooklyn High School (Ohio), featuring Pat Boone and Bill Haley & His Comets and opening with Elvis Presley, Elvis's first filmed performance, for a documentary on Randle titled The Pied Piper of Cleveland.
After the last Allied troops have left Austria and following the provisions of the Austrian Independence Treaty, the country declares its permanent neutrality.
Ngô Đình Diệm proclaims Vietnam to be a republic with himself as its President (following the State of Vietnam referendum on October 23) and forms the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.
October 27 – Film Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean, is released in the United States.
October 29 – Soviet battleship Novorossiysk explodes at moorings in Sevastopol Bay, killing 608, the Soviet Union's worst naval disaster.
The Vietnam War begins between the South Vietnam Army and the North Vietnam Army in which the latter is allied with the Viet Cong.
A time bomb explodes in the cargo hold of United Airlines Flight 629, a Douglas DC-6B airliner flying above Longmont, Colorado, killing all 39 passengers and 5 crew members on board.
November 3 – The Rimutaka Tunnel opens on the New Zealand Railways, at 5.46 mi (8.79 km) the longest in the Southern Hemisphere at this time.
November 5 – Racial segregation is outlawed on trains and buses in interstate commerce in the United States.
November 19 – C. Northcote Parkinson first propounds 'Parkinson's law', in The Economist.
November 20 – Bo Diddley makes his television debut on Ed Sullivan's Toast Of The Town show for the CBS-TV network.
November 23 – The Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean are transferred from British to Australian control.
November 26 – The British Governor of Cyprus declares a state of emergency on the island.
December 1 – In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refuses to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger and is arrested, leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
December 4 – The International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations was founded in Luxembourg.
The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to become the AFL–CIO.
The Montgomery Improvement Association is formed in Montgomery, Alabama, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other Black ministers to coordinate a Black people's boycott of all city buses.
December 9 – Adnan Menderes of DP forms the new government of Turkey (22nd government)
The Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in New York State opens to traffic.
Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sri Lanka join the United Nations simultaneously, after several years of moratorium on admitting new members that began during the Korean War.
December 20 – Cardiff is declared by the British Government as the capital of Wales.
December 22 – American cytogeneticist Joe Hin Tjio discovers the correct number of human chromosomes, forty-six.
December 31 – General Motors becomes the first American corporation to make a profit of over one billion dollars in one year.
The Strömsund Bridge in Sweden is completed, being the first significant cable-stayed bridge of the modern era.
World population: 2,755,823,000
South America: 190,797,000
North America: 186,884,000
Mario Andreacchio, Australian film director
Mary Beard, English classicist
Precious, Canadian professional wrestling valet
Mulatu Teshome, Ethiopian politician and 8th President of Ethiopia
January 2 – Vivien Savage, French singer
January 5 – Mamata Banerjee, Indian politician, Chief Minister of West Bengal
January 6 – Rowan Atkinson, English comedian and actor
January 9 – J. K. Simmons, American actor
January 10 – Michael Schenker, German guitarist (Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Group)
Ran Ito, Japanese actress
Paul Kelly, Australian musician
Jay McInerney, American writer
Andreas Gursky, German photographer
Mayumi Tanaka, Japanese voice actress
Steve Earle, American musician
Mami Koyama, Japanese voice actress
January 18 – Kevin Costner, American actor, producer and director
January 19 – Sir Simon Rattle, English orchestral conductor
Joe Doherty, Provisional Irish Republican Army member
Hiromi Ōta, Japanese singer
January 21 – Jeff Koons, American artist
January 22 – Keiko Takahashi, Japanese actress
January 25 – Petra Gerster, German television presenter and newscaster
Björn Andrésen, Swedish actor
Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-born American rock musician (Van Halen)
John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States
Alexander Stuart, British-born author
Vinod Khosla, Indian-born American venture capitalist
Nicolas Sarkozy, 23rd President of France
George Tokoro, Japanese TV personality and singer-songwriter
Eddie Jordan, American basketball player and head coach
Femi Pedro, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria
February 1 – Hans Werner Olm, German television and film comedian
February 2 – Leszek Engelking, Polish poet, writer and translator
February 3 – Kirsty Wark, Scottish television presenter
Michael Pollan, American journalist
Irinej Dobrijević, American-born Serbian Bishop of Australia and New Zealand
February 7 – Miguel Ferrer, American actor (d. 2017)
John Grisham, American novelist
Xu Bing, Chinese artist
Charles Shaughnessy, English-born actor
Jim J. Bullock, American actor and comedian
Chris Adams, English wrestler and judoka (d. 2001)
Pablo Borges Delgado, Cuban artist
Greg Norman, Australian golfer
February 12 – Ai Satō, Japanese voice actress
February 13 – Akiko Yano, Japanese singer-songwriter
Janice Dickinson, American model, photographer, author and talent agent
Christopher McDonald, American actor
February 17 – Mo Yan, Chinese writer
February 19 – Jeff Daniels, American actor
February 21 – Kelsey Grammer, American actor and comedian
Howard Jones, English pop keyboardist and singer-songwriter
Flip Saunders, American basketball coach (d. 2015)
Steve Jobs, American businessman and founder of Apple Inc. (d. 2011)
Alain Prost, French race car driver
February 28 – Gilbert Gottfried, American actor and comedian
March 1 – Sir Timothy Laurence, English admiral and second husband of Anne, Princess Royal
Shoko Asahara, Japanese cult leader (Aum Shinrikyo)
Jay Osmond, American pop singer
March 3 – Kent Derricott, Canadian TV personality in Japan
March 4 – Dominique Pinon, French actor
Julien Dray, French politician
Penn Jillette, American magician and comedian (Penn & Teller)
Wendy Boglioli, American swimmer
Jay Ilagan, Filipino actor (d. 1992)
Cyprien Ntaryamira, Burundian politician, 5th President of Burundi (d. 1994)
Alberta Watson, Canadian actress (d. 2015)
March 7 – Tommy Kramer, American football player
March 8 – Don Ashby, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1981)
Ornella Muti, Italian actress
Franco Uncini, Italian motorcycle racer
Yousra, Egyptian actress and singer
Marianne Rosenberg, German singer
March 11 – Nina Hagen, German pop singer
Bruno Conti, Italian football player
Glenne Headly, American actress of film, stage and television
Robert Kabbas, Egyptian-born Australian weightlifter
Dee Snider, American rock singer (Twisted Sister)
Bruno Barreto, Brazilian film director
Jiro Watanabe, Japanese boxer
March 17 – Gary Sinise, American actor, producer and director
Guillermo Dávila, Venezuelan actor and singer
Dwayne Murphy, American baseball player
Pino Daniele, Italian music artist (d. 2015)
Bruce Willis, American actor
Simon Yam, Hong Kong actor
March 20 – Mariya Takeuchi, Japanese singer-songwriter
March 21 – Philippe Troussier, French football coach
Lena Olin, Swedish actress
Pete Sessions, American politician
Valdis Zatlers, 7th President of Latvia
March 23 – Moses Malone, American basketball player (d. 2015)
Celâl Şengör, Turkish geologist
Kim Johnston Ulrich, American actress
March 26 – Danny Arndt, Canadian ice hockey player
March 27 – Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain
John Alderdice, Irish politician
Reba McEntire, American country singer and actress
Earl Campbell, American football player
Brendan Gleeson, Irish actor
Marina Sirtis, English-born actress
March 31 – Angus Young, lead guitarist of Australian rock group AC/DC
Michael Burleigh, British historian
Mick Mars, American rock guitarist (Mötley Crüe)
Janice Long, English radio disc jockey
Akira Toriyama, Japanese manga artist
April 6 – Michael Rooker, American actor
Grace Hightower, American philanthropist, actress and singer
Gregg Jarrett, American lawyer turned journalist
Akira Nishino, Japanese soccer player and manager
Werner Stocker, German actor (d. 1993)
Kane Hodder, American actor
Barbara Kingsolver, American fiction writer
April 9 – Kate Heyhoe, American food writer
April 11 – Kevin Brady, American politician
Steve Camp, American Christian musician
Hideki Saijo, Japanese singer and actor
April 15 – Dodi Fayed, Egyptian businessman (d. 1997)
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
DJ Kool Herc, Jamaican American DJ
April 17 – Rob Bolland, Dutch musician, songwriter and music producer (Bolland & Bolland)
April 18 – Bobby Castillo, American baseball player (d. 2014)
Ebiet G. Ade, Indonesian singer and songwriter
Toninho Cerezo, Brazilian footballer and coach
Judy Davis, Australian actress
Fumi Hirano, Japanese voice actress and essayist
Tony Miles, English chess player (d. 2001)
April 24 – John de Mol, Dutch media tycoon
John Nunn, English chess player and mathematician
Parviz Parastui, Iranian actor
April 26 – Chen Daoming, Chinese actor
James Risen, American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author
Eric Schmidt, American software engineer and businessman, former CEO of Google (2001-2011)
April 28 – Eddie Jobson, English musician
Richard Epcar, American voice actor
Kate Mulgrew, American actress
Yūko Tanaka, Japanese actress
April 30 – Zlatko Topčić, Bosnian writer and screenwriter
Ray Buttigieg, Maltese composer and poet
Nick Feldman, English musician (Wang Chung)
Willie Miller, Scottish footballer
Donatella Versace, Italian designer
Dave Winer, American software pioneer
May 3 – David Hookes, Australian cricketer (d. 2004)
Avram Grant, Israeli football manager
Robert Ellis Orrall, American singer
May 6 – Tom Bergeron, American television host
May 7 – Mayra Alejandra, Venezuelan actress (d. 2014)
May 8 – Meles Zenawi, 10th Prime Minister of Ethiopia and 3rd President of Ethiopia (d. 2012)
May 9 – Anne Sofie von Otter, Swedish mezzo-soprano
Chris Berman, American sports broadcaster
Mark David Chapman, American murderer of musician John Lennon
Rick Steves, American author and television personality; host of Rick Steves' Europe
May 14 – Robert Tapert, American TV producer
May 15 – Lee Horsley, American film, television, and theater actor
Olga Korbut, Soviet gymnast
Olli Kortekangas, Finnish composer
Jack Morris, American baseball player
Hazel O'Connor, British rock musician
Richard Phillips, American merchant mariner and captain of the MV Maersk Alabama
Debra Winger, American actress
May 17 – Bill Paxton, American actor
May 18 – Chow Yun-fat, Hong Kong actor
Mark Staff Brandl, American and Swiss artist and art historian
James Gosling, Canadian software engineer
Th. Emil Homerin, American theologian
Diego Abatantuono, Italian actor
Zbigniew Preisner, Polish film composer
Chalmers "Spanky" Alford, American jazz guitarist (d. 2008)
Dale Winton, English radio DJ and television presenter
Rosanne Cash, American entertainer
Rumiko Ukai, Japanese voice actress
Suguru Egawa, Japanese baseball player
Connie Sellecca, American actress
Doris Dörrie, German actress and screenplay writer
Masaharu Morimoto, Japanese chef
Mike Porcaro, American bass guitarist (d. 2015)
John Hinckley Jr., attempted assassin of Ronald Reagan
Nakamura Kanzaburō XVIII, Japanese Kabuki actor
Colm Tóibín. Irish novelist
Tommy Emmanuel, Australian guitarist
Susie Essman, American actress
Lynne Truss, English writer
June 1 – Chiyonofuji Mitsugu, Japanese sumo wrestler (58th Yokozuna grand champion) (d. 2016)
June 2 – Dana Carvey, American actor and comedian
June 5 – Fernando Borrego Linares, Cuban singer and songwriter (aka Polo Montañez)
Sandra Bernhard, American comedian, actress, author and singer
Chris Nyman, American baseball player
Sam Simon, American filmmaker (d. 2015)
June 7 – Tim Richmond, American race car driver (d. 1989)
Tim Berners-Lee, English computer scientist and inventor
Griffin Dunne, American actor and director
Floyd Bannister, American baseball player
Andrew Stevens, American actor, producer and director
June 11 – Yuriy Sedykh, Ukrainian hammer thrower
Kim Lankford, American actress, businesswoman and horse wrangler
Paul O'Grady (also known as "Lily Savage"), English talk show host and comedian
Polly Draper, American actress, screenwriter, playwright, producer and director
David A. Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy (d. 1984)
June 16 – Laurie Metcalf, American actress
June 18 – Sandy Allen, American, world's tallest woman (d. 2008)
June 20 – Tor Nørretranders, Danish author
Aloysius Amwano, Nauruan politician
Tim Bray, Canadian computer programmer
Jean-Pierre Mader, French singer-songwriter
Leigh McCloskey, American actor
Michel Platini, French retired football player and President of UEFA
June 23 – Glenn Danzig, American rock singer (The Misfits, Samhain, Danzig)
Alan J. Gow, Australian-born British motorsport executive
June 24 – Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Indian head of Siddha Yoga
June 25 – Mike McShane, American actor, comedian and voice actor
June 26 – Yoko Gushiken, Japanese boxer
Isabelle Adjani, French actress
Brad Diller, American cartoonist
June 30 – Amelia Kyambadde, Ugandan politician
Sanma Akashiya, Japanese comedian and actor
Nikolai Demidenko, Russian classical pianist
Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China
Lisa Scottoline, American novelist
July 2 – Stephen Walt, American political scientist
John Cramer, American game show announcer
Matt Keough, American baseball player
Sebastian Barry, Irish playwright, novelist and poet
Henry Lee Summer, American singer
July 7 – Rolf Saxon, American actor
July 8 – Mihaela Mitrache, Romanian actress
Lindsey Graham, American politician, lawyer, former U.S. Army soldier, U.S. Senator (R-Sc.), and unsuccessful 2016 presidential candidate
Fred Norris, American radio personality
Jimmy Smits, American actor
July 11 – Balaji Sadasivan, Singaporean politician and neurosurgeon
July 18 – Bernd Fasching, Austrian painter and sculptor
Marcelo Bielsa, Argentine football player and manager
Howie Epstein, American musician and producer (d. 2003)
Béla Tarr, Hungarian film director
Willem Dafoe, American actor
Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistani politician
July 25 – Iman, Somalian model
July 26 – Michele Pillar, American Christian musician
July 27 – Allan Border, Australian cricketer
July 31 – Jakie Quartz, French singer
August 2 – Caleb Carr, American writer
August 3 – Roger Gifford, Lord Mayor of London 2013
Gerrie Coetzee, South African boxer
Billy Bob Thornton, American actor, director and screenwriter
Gordon J. Brand, English golfer
Ron Davis, American baseball player
Wayne Knight, American actor and comedian
David Learner, British actor
Vladimir Sorokin, Russian writer
August 8 – Diddú (Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir), Icelandic soprano and songwriter
August 9 – Doug Williams, American football quarterback
August 10 – Mel Tiangco, Philippine television host and newscaster 24 Oras
Heintje Simons, Dutch singer and actor
Gish Jen, American fiction writer
August 13 – Daryl, American magician
August 14 – Gillian Taylforth, English television actress
August 17 – Richard Hilton, American businessman
Peter Gallagher, American actor
Terry Harper, American baseball player
August 20 – Agnes Chan, Hong Kong-born TV personality in Japan
Chiranjeevi, Indian actor
Gordon Liu, Chinese actor
August 24 – Mike Huckabee, American politician, former Governor and 2008 Presidential candidate
Laura Fygi, Dutch singer
Sergey Khlebnikov, Soviet speed skater (d. 1999)
Mayumi Muroyama, Japanese manga artist
Helge Schneider, comedian, jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist, author, film and theatre director
Olek Krupa, Polish actor
Edwin Moses, American athlete
Billy Blanks, American martial artist; inventor of the Tae Bo exercise program
Bruce Foxton, English musician
Robert Duncan, American astrophysicist
Claus Kleber, German television journalist
Natalya Petrusyova, Soviet speed skater
Michelle Yim, Hong Kong actress
September 4 – Hiroshi Izawa, Japanese actor
September 6 – Raymond Benson, American author
September 7 – Efim Zelmanov, Russian mathematician
September 9 – John Kricfalusi, Canadian cartoonist
September 12 – Peter Scolari, American actor and comedian
Željka Antunović, Croatian politician
Brendan O'Carroll, Irish actor and comedian
Bruce Reitherman, American filmmaker and voice actor
Renzo Rosso, Italian clothing designer
Janet Ellis, British children's TV presenter
Robin Yount, American baseball player
September 17 – Charles Martinet, American voice-actor
September 19 – Richard Burmer, American composer, sound designer and musician (d. 2006)
September 21 – Richard Hieb, American astronaut
September 24 – Shinbo Nomura, Japanese manga artist
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, German football player
Zucchero Fornaciari, Italian singer-songwriter
September 28 – Stéphane Dion, Canadian politician
October 2 – Philip Oakey, Member of British pop group The Human League
October 3 – Tommy Wiseau, American film director and actor, known for the 2003 "dark comedy" (The Room)
Bart D. Ehrman, American religious studies scholar and writer, specialist of textual criticism
Jean-Jacques Lafon, French singer-songwriter
Caroline Loeb, French singer and actress
Clinton Bennett, British scholar of religions, specialist in the study of Islam
Yo-Yo Ma, French-born Chinese American cellist
Bill Elliott, American racing driver
Darrell Hammond, Comedian (SNL)
October 13 – Sergei Shepelev, Russian ice hockey player
James B. Aguayo-Martel, Mexican-born physician, surgeon, scientist and inventor
Kulbir Bhaura, Indian-born British field hockey player
Tanya Roberts, American actress
Emily Yoffe, American journalist and advice columnist
Hiromi Go, Japanese singer
Timmy Mallett, English television presenter
October 19 – LaSalle Ishii, Japanese television personality
Yasukazu Hamada, Japanese politician
Rich Mullins, American Christian musician (d. 1997)
Karen Austin, American actress
Katherine Knight, Australian mariticide
October 25 – Glynis Barber, South African-born British actress
Bill Gates, American businessman and co-founder of Microsoft
Indra Nooyi, Indian business executive
Kevin DuBrow, American rock singer (d. 2007)
Roger O'Donnell, English rock keyboardist
Etsuko Shihomi, Japanese actress
October 30 – Jeremy Black, British historian
October 31 – Eduardo V. Manalo, 3rd Executive Minister (Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan) of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ)
November 1 – Joe Arroyo, Colombian salsa and tropical music singer (d. 2011)
November 2 – Chris Burnett, American saxophone player, composer, veteran of US military jazz bands and band leader
Teresa De Sio, Italian singer-songwriter
Phil Simms, American football player
Yukihiko Tsutsumi, Japanese film director
Moulana Ghousavi Shah, Sufi teacher and author, Secretary General of The Conference of World Religions
Matti Vanhanen, Prime Minister of Finland
Pedro Brieger, Argentine journalist and sociologist.
Kris Jenner, American television personality
Karan Thapar, Indian journalist, political analyst and commentator
November 6 – Maria Shriver, American television journalist, host; First Lady of California
November 7 – Detlef Ultsch, German judo athlete
November 9 – Karen Dotrice, Guernsey-born child actress
November 10 – Roland Emmerich, German film director, Richard Burton, Welsh stage and cinema actor
November 11 – Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan
November 13 – Whoopi Goldberg, American actress and comedian
November 14 – Koichi Nakano, Japanese bicycle racer
November 17 – Peter Cox, English singer-songwriter (Go West)
November 19 – Dianne de Leeuw, Dutch figure skater
November 20 – Ray Ozzie, American computer programmer
Kyle Gann, American composer and music critic
Cedric Maxwell, American basketball player
November 22 – George Alagiah, Ceylonese-born British newsreader, journalist and television news presenter
Steven Brust, American author
Ludovico Einaudi, Italian pianist and composer
Sir Ian Botham, English cricketer
Najib Mikati, Lebanese politician, 2-Time Prime Minister of Lebanon
November 25 – Bruno Tonioli, film, music video and theater choreographer
November 26 – Tracy Hickman, American author
November 27 – Bill Nye, American science presenter and public television host
November 28 – Alessandro Altobelli, Italian football player
November 29 – Howie Mandel, Canadian actor and game show host
Michael Beschloss, American historian
Kevin Conroy, American voice actor
Billy Idol, born William Broad, British rock musician and was lead singer of Generation X
Melody Anderson, Canadian actress and social worker
Steven Culp, American actor
December 4 – Maurizio Bianchi, Italian musician
December 7 – Priscilla Barnes, American actress
Ian Greig, South African-born English cricketer
Martin Semmelrogge, German actor
December 9 – Asashio Tarō IV, Japanese sumo wrestler
December 12 – Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Greek politician and businesswoman
Chiharu Matsuyama, Japanese singer-songwriter
Rob Levin, American founder of the freenode IRC network (d. 2006)
December 17 – Brad Davis, American basketball player
December 21 – Jane Kaczmarek, American actress
Keith Comstock, American baseball player
Carol Ann Duffy, Scottish poet
Mizuho Fukushima, Japanese politician
Clarence Gilyard, American actor and college professor
December 27 – Barbara Olson, American television commentator (d. 2001)
December 28 – Liu Xiaobo, Chinese literary critic and human rights activist
December 31 – Jim Tracy, American baseball player
Mark Marderosian, American cartoonist
Anacleto Rapping, American photographer and pedagogue
Sergey Zimov, Russian geophysicist and creator of Pleistocene Park
January 1 – Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, Indian scientist (b. 1894)
January 2 – José Antonio Remón Cantera, 19th President of Panama (assassinated) (b. 1908)
January 6 – Yevgeny Tarle, Soviet historian (b. 1874)
January 11 – Rodolfo Graziani, Italian general (b. 1882)
Johannes Baader, German artist (b. 1875)
Yves Tanguy, French painter (b. 1900)
January 18 – August Duesenberg, German-born American automobile manufacturer (b. 1879)
January 20 – Robert P. T. Coffin, American poet (b. 1892)
January 21 – Archie Hahn, American athlete (b. 1880)
January 24 – Ira Hayes, U.S. Marine flag raiser on Iwo Jima (b. 1923)
January 29 – Hans Hedtoft, Prime Minister of Denmark (b. 1903)
January 31 – John Mott, American YMCA leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1865)
February 11 – Ona Munson, American actress (b. 1903)
Thomas J. Moore, Irish-American film actor (b. 1883)
S. Z. Sakall, Hungarian actor (b. 1883)
February 20 – Oswald Avery, American physician and medical researcher (b. 1877)
February 23 – Paul Claudel, French poet, dramatist, and diplomat (b. 1868)
February 27 – Trixie Friganza, American actress (b. 1870)
March 3 – Katharine Drexel, American Roman Catholic saint (b. 1858)
March 8 – William C. deMille, American screenwriter and director (b. 1878)
March 9 – Matthew Henson, American explorer (b. 1866)
March 11 – Sir Alexander Fleming, Scottish scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1881)
March 12 – Charlie Parker, American saxophonist (b. 1920)
March 16 – Nicolas de Staël, Russian painter (b. 1914)
March 23 – Artur da Silva Bernardes, 12nd President of Brazil (b. 1875)
March 30 – Ylla, Hungarian photographer (b. 1911) (jeep accident)
April 7 – Theda Bara, American film actress (b. 1885)
April 10 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit priest, philosopher, paleontologist and geologist (b. 1881)
April 11 – Clifton Sprague, American admiral (b. 1896)
April 13 – Peyton C. March, United States Army General (b. 1864)
April 18 – Albert Einstein, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1879)
April 25 – Constance Collier, stage and screen actress; acting coach (b. 1878)
May 2 – Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie, 10th Governor-General of Australia (b. 1872)
Louis Charles Breguet, French aircraft designer and builder and early aviation pioneer (b. 1880)
George Enescu, Romanian composer (b. 1881)
Tommy Burns, American boxer (b. 1881)
John Radecki, Australian stained-glass artist (b. 1865)
May 11 – Gilbert Jessop, English cricketer (b. 1874)
Charles Pelot Summerall, American general (b. 1867)
Anwar Wagdi, Egyptian actor and filmmaker (b. 1904)
May 16 – James Agee, American writer (b. 1909)
May 17 – Owen Roberts, American Supreme Court Justice (b. 1875)
May 18 – Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator (b. 1875)
May 22 – Richard "Skeets" Gallagher, American actor (b. 1891)
May 26 – Alberto Ascari, Italian race-car driver (accident) (b. 1918)
May 30 – Bill Vukovich, American race-car driver (accident) (b. 1918)
Pattillo Higgins, American oil pioneer and businessman (b. 1863)
Herbert Stanley, Governor of Northern Rhodesia, Ceylon and Southern Rhodesia (b. 1872)
June 11 – Walter Hampden, American actor (b. 1879)
June 17 – Carlyle Blackwell, American actor (b. 1884)
June 19 – Adrienne Monnier, French poet (b. 1892)
June 26 – Engelbert Zaschka, German helicopter pioneer (b. 1895)
June 29 – Max Pechstein, German painter (b. 1881)
July 3 – Beatrice Chase, English writer (b. 1874)
Ruth Ellis, Welsh-born murderer, last woman to be executed in the United Kingdom (b. 1926)
Stanley Price, American film and television actor (b. 1892)
July 20 – Calouste Gulbenkian, Armenian businessman and philanthropist (b. 1869)
July 23 – Cordell Hull, United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1871)
July 31 – Robert Francis, American actor (b. 1930)
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, Bavarian military leader and last Bavarian crown prince (b. 1869)
Wallace Stevens, American poet (b. 1879)
August 5 – Carmen Miranda, Portuguese Brazilian singer and actress (b. 1909)
August 8 – Grace Hartman, American actress (b. 1907)
Thomas Mann, German novelist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1875)
James B. Sumner, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
August 13 – Florence Easton, English-born operatic soprano (b. 1882)
August 17 – Fernand Léger, French painter and sculptor (b. 1881)
August 27 – Augusto Turati, Italian fascist politician (b. 1888)
August 28 – Emmett Till, American murder victim (b. 1941)
September 1 – Philip Loeb, American actor (b. 1891)
September 20 – Robert Riskin, American screenwriter (b. 1897)
September 23 – Martha Norelius, American Olympic swimmer (b. 1908)
September 24 – Ib Schønberg, Danish actor (b. 1902)
September 25 – José Tamborini, rgentine physician and politician (b. 1886)
Michael Chekhov, Russian actor and writer (b. 1891)
James Dean, American actor (accident) (b. 1931)
October 1 – Charles Christie, American film studio owner (b. 1880)
October 4 – Alexander Papagos, Greek Field Marshal (b. 1883)
October 7 – Rodolphe Seeldrayers, German journalist and administrator, 4th President of FIFA (b. 1876)
October 8 – Iry LeJeune, Cajun musician (b. 1928)
Theodor Innitzer, Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna (b. 1875)
Alice Joyce, American actress (b. 1890)
October 13 – Manuel Ávila Camacho, 45th President of Mexico (b. 1897)
October 18 – José Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher (b. 1883)
October 19 – John Hodiak, American actor (b. 1914)
October 31 – William Woodward, Jr., American banker and horse breeder, shot to death by his wife (b. 1920)
November 1 – Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer (b. 1888)
November 4 – Cy Young, American baseball player (Cleveland Spiders) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1867)
November 5 – Maurice Utrillo, French artist (b. 1882)
November 7 – Tom Powers, American actor (b. 1890)
November 11 – Jerry Ross, American lyricist and composer (b. 1926)
November 12 – Alfréd Hajós, Hungarian swimmer and architect (b. 1878)
November 13 – Moshe Pessach, chief rabbi of Volos (b. 1869)
November 14 – Robert E. Sherwood, American playwright (b. 1896)
November 15 – Lloyd Bacon, American actor and director (b. 1889)
November 17 – Helmuth Weidling, German general (b. 1891)
November 22 – Shemp Howard, American actor and comedian (The Three Stooges) (b. 1895)
November 27 – Arthur Honegger, French-born Swiss composer (b. 1892)
November 30 – Alta Bates, nurse anesthetist and founder of Alta Bates Hospital (b. 1879)
December 1 – Chief Thundercloud, American character actor (b. 1899)
December 5 – Jirō Minami, Japanese general and Governor-General of Korea (1936-1942) (b. 1874)
George Platt Lynes, American photographer (b. 1907)
Honus Wagner, American baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1874)
December 8 – Hermann Weyl, German mathematician, theoretical physicist and philosopher (b. 1885)
December 13 – Egas Moniz, Portuguese neurologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1874)
December 15 – Otto Braun, German politician, former Minister President of the Free State of Prussia (b. 1872)
December 21 – Garegin Nzhdeh, Armenian statesman (b. 1886)
December 22 – Otto Eppers, American cartoonist (b. 1893)
Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of President Benjamin Harrison and Mary Dimmick Harrison (b. 1897)
Thomas J. Preston, Jr., professor of Archeology at Princeton University; second husband of Frances Cleveland, widow of President Grover Cleveland (b. 1862)
December 27 – Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter, English soldier (b. 1881)
Physics – Willis Eugene Lamb and Polykarp Kusch
Chemistry – Vincent du Vigneaud
Physiology or Medicine – Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell
Literature – Halldór Kiljan Laxness
Peace – not awarded
1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (dominical letter B) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1955th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 955th year of the 2nd millennium, the 55th year of the 20th century, and the 6th year of the 1950s decade.