The Copyright Act of 1976 takes effect, making sweeping changes to United States copyright law.
Air India Flight 855, a Boeing 747 passenger jet, crashes into the ocean near Bombay, killing 213.
Edward M. Davis retires from the Los Angeles Police Department after 30 years on the force and more than 8 years as its police chief.
January 4 – A referendum in Chile supports the policies of dictator Augusto Pinochet (see Chilean national consultation, 1978).
January 5 – Bülent Ecevit, of CHP forms the new government of Turkey (42nd government).
January 6 – The Holy Crown of Hungary (also known as Stephen of Hungary Crown) is returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held since World War II.
January 10 – Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, a critic of the Nicaraguan government, is assassinated; riots erupt against Somoza's government.
January 14 – January 15 – The body of former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda, following his death from cancer.
January 16 – Robert F. Rock succeeds Edward M. Davis as LAPD's interim chief.
January 18 – The European Court of Human Rights finds the British government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
January 19 – Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Webster is appointed FBI Director.
January 22 – Ethiopia declares the ambassador of West Germany persona non grata.
Soviet satellite Kosmos 954 burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering debris over Canada's Northwest Territories.
Rose Dugdale and Eddie Gallagher become the first convicted prisoners to marry in prison in the history of the Republic of Ireland.
January 25 – January 27 – The Great Blizzard of 1978 strikes the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, killing 70.
January 28 – Richard Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento", is arrested.
February 1 – film director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees to France, after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.
February 5 – February 7 – The Northeastern United States blizzard of 1978 hits the New England region and the New York metropolitan area, killing about 100 and causing over US$520 million in damage.
February 6 – King Dragon operation in Arakan: Burmese General Ne Win targets Muslim minorities in the village of Sakkipara.
February 8 – United States Senate proceedings are broadcast on radio for the first time.
February 8 – Project SHAWN begins in Connecticut.
February 9 – The Budd Company unveils its first SPV-2000 self-propelled railcar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Pacific Western Airlines Flight 314, a Boeing 737-200, crashes in Cranbrook, British Columbia, killing 44 of the 50 people on board.
Sixteen Unification Church couples wed in New York City.
Somalia mobilizes its troops, due to an apparent Ethiopian attack.
The People's Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
February 13 – Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing: A bomb explodes outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing 2 garbagemen, a policeman and injuring several others.
Rhodesia, one of only two remaining white-ruled African nations (the other being South Africa), announces that it will accept multiracial democracy within 2 years.
Serial killer Ted Bundy is captured in Pensacola, Florida.
The Hillside Strangler, a serial killer prowling Los Angeles, claims a tenth and final victim.
The first computer bulletin board system (CBBS) is created in Chicago.
February 19 – Egyptian raid on Larnaca International Airport
February 21 – Electrical workers in Mexico City find the remains of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in the middle of the city.
February 25 – The first Legislative Assembly election is held in Arunachal Pradesh.
March 1 – Charlie Chaplin's remains are stolen from Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.
March 2 – Soyuz 28 (Aleksei Gubarev, Vladimír Remek) is launched on a rendezvous with Salyut 6, with the first cosmonaut from a third country (besides the Soviet Union and United States) – Czechoslovak citizen Vladimír Remek.
Ethiopia admits that its troops are fighting with the aid of Cuban soldiers against Somalian troops in the Ogaden.
Rhodesia attacks Zambia.
The New York Post publishes an article about David Rorvik's book The Cloning of Man, about a supposed cloning of a human being.
March 5 – "Wuthering Heights", the debut single by Kate Bush, charts at #1 in the United Kingdom, making her the first woman to have a self-penned number one single.
March 6 – American porn publisher Larry Flynt is shot and paralyzed in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
March 10 – Soyuz 28 lands.
March 11 – Coastal Road massacre: Palestinian terrorists kill 34 Israelis.
March 14 – Operation Litani: Israeli forces invade Lebanon.
March 15 – Somalia and Ethiopia sign a truce to end the Ethio-Somali War.
March 16 – Former Italian Premier Aldo Moro is kidnapped by the Red Brigades; 5 bodyguards are killed.
March 17 – The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz runs aground on the coast of Brittany.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan, is sentenced to death by hanging for ordering the assassination of a political opponent.
California Jam II is held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California, attracting more than 300,000 fans.
March 22 – Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas dies after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
March 26 – The control tower and some other facilities of New Tokyo International Airport, which were scheduled to open on March 31, are illegally occupied and damaged in a terrorist attack by New Left activists, forcing a rescheduling of its opening date to May 20.
San Francisco city council signs the U.S.'s most comprehensive homosexual rights bill.
Stump v. Sparkman (435 U.S. 349): The Supreme Court of the United States hands down a 5–3 decision in a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity.
Daryl Gates succeeds Robert F. Rock as LAPD's chief, a role he will keep for the next 14 years.
New Zealand National Airways Corporation (the domestic airline of New Zealand) is merged with New Zealand's international airline, Air New Zealand.
Dick Smith of Dick Smith Foods tows a fake iceberg to Sydney Harbour.
The Philippine College of Commerce, through a presidential decree, is converted to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
April 2 – Dallas debuted on CBS and gave birth to the modern day primetime soap opera.
April 3 – The 50th Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles with Annie Hall winning Best Picture.
April 7 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter decides to postpone production of the neutron bomb – a weapon which kills people with radiation but leaves buildings relatively intact.
April 8 – Regular radio broadcasts of British Parliament proceedings start.
April 9 – Somali military officers stage an unsuccessful coup against the government of Siad Barre; security forces thwart the attempt within hours, and several conspirators are arrested.
April 10 – Volkswagen becomes the second (after Rolls-Royce) non-American automobile manufacturer to open a plant in the United States, commencing production of the Rabbit, the North American version of the Volkswagen Golf, at the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant near New Stanton, Pennsylvania with a unionized (UAW) workforce (the plant closes in 1992).
April 14 – 1978 Tbilisi Demonstrations: Thousands of Georgians demonstrate against an attempt by Soviet authorities to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language.
April 18 – The U.S. Senate votes 68–32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
April 20 – Soviet air defense shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 902. The plane made an emergency landing on a frozen lake.
Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta win the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 for Israel with their song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi".
The One Love Peace Concert is held at National Heroes Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Bob Marley unites two opposing political leaders at this concert, bringing peace to the civil war-ridden streets of the city.
April 25 – St. Paul, Minnesota becomes the second U.S. city to repeal its gay rights ordinance after Anita Bryant's successful 1977 anti-gay campaign in Dade County, Florida.
April 27 – Afghanistan President Daoud Khan is killed during a military coup; Nur Muhammad Taraki succeeds him beginning the Afghan Civil War which as of 2016 has not ended.
April 30 – The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan is proclaimed under pro-communist leader Nur Muhammad Taraki.
The Battle of Cassinga occurs in southern Angola.
Communist activist Henri Curiel is murdered in Paris.
May 5 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 3,000th major league hit.
Norway opens a natural gas field in the Polar Sea.
Reinhold Messner (Italy) and Peter Habeler (Austria) make the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.
May 9 – In Rome, the corpse of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro is found in a red Renault 4.
May 12 – In Zaire, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining centre of the province of Shaba. The Zairean government asks the U.S., France and Belgium to restore order.
May 12 – May 13 – A group of mercenaries led by Bob Denard oust Ali Soilih in the Comoros; 10 local soldiers are killed. Denard forms a new government.
Australia's longest serving prime minister sir Robert Menzies dies.
Students of the University of Tehran riot in Tabriz; the army stops the riot.
May 17 – Charlie Chaplin's coffin is found some 15 km from the cemetery from which it was stolen, near Lake Geneva.
Soviet dissident Yuri Orlov is sentenced to 7 years hard labor for distributing 'counterrevolutionary material'.
Sarajevo is selected to host the 1984 Winter Olympics and Los Angeles is selected to host the 1984 Summer Olympics.
May 18 – May 19 – Belgian and French paratroopers fly to Zaire to aid the fight against the rebels.
May 19 – May 20 – French Foreign Legion paratroopers land in Kolwezi, Zaire, to rescue Europeans in the middle of a civil war.
May 20 – Mavis Hutchinson, 53, becomes the first woman to run across the U.S.; her trek took 69 days.
May 22 – Exiled leaders Ahmed Abdallah and Muhammad Ahmad return to the Comoros.
May 25 – A bomb explodes in the security section of Northwestern University, wounding a security guard (the first Unabomber attack).
May 26 – In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
May 28 – Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins his third race, and the first for car owner Jim Hall.
May 29 – Ali Soilih is found dead in the Comoros, allegedly shot when trying to escape.
June 1 – The 1978 FIFA World Cup starts in Argentina.
June 3 – The Congo Republic recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
June 6 – California voters approve Proposition 13, which slashes property taxes nearly 60%.
June 9 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints extends the priesthood and temple blessings to "all worthy males", ending a general policy of excluding "Canaanites" from priesthood ordination and temple ordinances.
June 12 – Serial killer David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam," is sentenced to 365 years in prison.
June 15 – King Hussein of Jordan marries 26-year-old Lisa Halaby, who takes the name Queen Noor.
June 16 – Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John is released.
Cricketer Ian Botham becomes the first man in the history of the game to score a century and take 8 wickets in 1 inning of a Test match.
Garfield, which eventually becomes the world's most widely syndicated comic strip, makes its debut.
June 20 – The 6.2 Mw Thessaloniki earthquake shakes Northern Greece with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). Fifty people were killed.
A shootout between Provisional IRA members and the British Army leaves 1 civilian and 3 IRA men dead.
1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown: Iranian helicopters stray into Soviet airspace and are shot down.
Charon, a satellite of Pluto, is discovered.
São Tomé and Príncipe recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
June 23 – Panama recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Yemen Arab Republic President Ahmad al-Ghashmi is killed.
The Gay & Lesbian Solidarity March is held in Sydney, Australia to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots (which later becomes the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras; later incorporating a festival).
June 25 – Argentina defeats the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time to win the 1978 FIFA World Cup.
June 26 – A bombing by Breton nationalists causes destruction in Palace of Versailles.
The U.S. scientific satellite Seasat is launched.
University of California Regents v. Bakke: The Supreme Court of the United States bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms the constitutionality of programs which give advantages to minorities.
The rainbow flag of the LGBT movement flies for the first time (in its original form) at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.
June 30 – Ethiopia begins a massive offensive in Eritrea.
July 3 – The Amazon Co-operation Treaty (ACT) is signed.
July 7 – The Solomon Islands become independent from the United Kingdom.
July 11 – More than 200 tourists die in an explosion of a tanker-truck at a campsite in Costa Daurada, Spain.
Cerro Maravilla murders: Two Puerto Rican pro-independence activists are killed in a police ambush.
Louise Brown, the world's first test tube baby, is born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, UK.
August 6 – Pope Paul VI dies in Castel Gandolfo.
August 17 – Double Eagle II becomes the first balloon to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean, flying from Presque Isle, Maine, to Miserey, France.
August 19 – Birth of Omani entrepreneur Qais Al Khonji
August 22 – Sandinistas seize the Nicaraguan National Palace.
August 26 – Pope John Paul I succeeds Pope Paul VI as the 263rd Pope.
September 5 – Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat begin the peace process at Camp David, Maryland.
In London, England, a poison-filled pellet, supposedly injected using an umbrella, poisons Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, probably on orders of Bulgarian intelligence; he dies 4 days later.
Keith Moon, the drummer for the Who, dies in London, England.
September 8 – Iranian Army troops open fire on rioters in Tehran, killing 122, wounding 4,000.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq officially assumes the post of President of Pakistan.
The 7.4 Mw Tabas earthquake affects the city of Tabas, Iran with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). At least 15,000 people were killed.
September 17 – The Camp David Accords are signed between Israel and Egypt.
September 19 – Police in the West Midlands of England launch a massive murder hunt, when 13-year-old newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater is shot dead after disturbing a burglary.
September 20 – General Rahimuddin Khan assumes the post of Martial Law Governor of Balochistan.
PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collides with a small private airplane and crashes in San Diego, California; 144 are killed.
Giuseppe Verdi's opera Otello makes its first appearance on Live from the Met, in a complete production of the opera starring Jon Vickers. This is the first complete television broadcast of the opera in the U.S. since the historic 1948 one.
September 27 – The last Forest Brother guerrilla movement fighter is discovered and killed in Estonia.
September 28 – Pope John Paul I dies after only 33 days of papacy.
Vietnam attacks Cambodia.
Tuvalu becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
October 7 – Wranslide in New South Wales: the Wran government is re-elected with an increased majority.
October 8 – Australia's Ken Warby sets the current world water speed record of 317.6 mph (511.13 km/h) at Blowering Dam, Australia.
Daniel arap Moi becomes president of Kenya.
A massive short circuit in Seasat's electrical system ends the satellite's scientific mission.
United States President Jimmy Carter signs a bill that authorizes the minting of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
October 13 – The Soviet Union launches a major Russification campaign throughout all union republics.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs a bill into law which allows homebrewing of beer in the United States.
October 16 – Pope John Paul II succeeds Pope John Paul I as the 264th pope, resulting in the first Year of Three Popes since 1605. He is the first Polish pope in history, and the first non-Italian pope since Pope Adrian VI (1522–1523).
October 18 – Thorbjörn Fälldin steps down as Prime Minister of Sweden, and is succeeded by the Leader of the liberal People's Party ( "Folkpartiet" ) Ola Ullsten.
October 20 – The first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is held as a protest march and commemoration of the Stonewall riots.
October 21 – Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.
October 27 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin win the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.
November 2: 8:00 pm – The Republic of Ireland's second television channel RTÉ 2 goes on air (renamed Network 2, 1988; RTÉ Network Two, 1995; N2, 1997; and RTÉ Two in 2004).
Dominica gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
Equatorial Guinea recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
November 5 – Rioters sack the British Embassy in Tehran.
Indira Gandhi is re-elected to the Indian parliament.
California voters defeat the Briggs Initiative that would have prohibited gay school teachers.
November 9 – Tanzania recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
November 18 – Jonestown incident: In Guyana, Jim Jones leads his Peoples Temple cult in a mass murder–suicide that claims 918 lives in all, 909 of them at Jonestown itself, including over 270 children. Congressman Leo J. Ryan is assassinated by members of Peoples Temple shortly beforehand.
November 19 – The first U.S. Take Back the Night march occurs in San Francisco.
November 26 – Two British commercial divers, Michael Ward and Tony Prangley, die of hypothermia and drowning in the East Shetland Basin after their diving bell plunges to the seabed at a depth of over 100 metres (330 ft).
November 27 – In San Francisco, Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White.
November 30 – Publication of The Times is suspended due to labor problems until November 13, 1979.
December 4 – Dianne Feinstein succeeds the murdered George Moscone, to become the first woman mayor of San Francisco (she serves until January 8, 1988).
December 6 – The Spanish Constitution officially restores the country's democratic government.
Lufthansa heist: Six men rob a Lufthansa cargo facility in New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Two million demonstrate against the Shah in Iran.
December 13 – The first Susan B. Anthony dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first major American city to go into default since the Great Depression, under Mayor Dennis Kucinich.
Superman is released in cinemas in the United States.
December 16 – Train 87 from Nanjing to Xining collides with train 368 from Xi'an to Xuzhou near Yangzhuang railway station in China, killing 106, injuring 218.
December 19 – Former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi is arrested and jailed for a week for breach of privilege and contempt of parliament.
The pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing Mao-era policies to pursue a program for Chinese economic reform.
Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978, is arrested.
Argentina started the Operation Soberanía against Chile.
December 25 – Vietnam launches a major offensive against the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia.
December 27 – The Constitution of Spain is approved in a referendum, officially ending 40 years of military dictatorship.
Artificial insulin is invented.
David Rorvik claims he has participated in a creation of a human clone in his book In His Image.
Abortion is legalized in Italy for the first time.
In Seoul, South Korea, construction begins on Seoul Subway Line 2.
Ford initiates a recall for the Pinto because of a public outcry resulting from deaths associated with gas tank explosions.
The New York International Bible Society's New International Version of the complete Holy Bible translated into modern American English is published.
The Soviet Union nuclear weapons stockpile exceeds the United States nuclear weapons stockpile.
The Space Invaders arcade video game is released by Taito Corporation.
Philip Mulryne, Northern Irish footballer
Vidya Balan, Bollywood actress
Megumi Toyoguchi, Japanese voice actress
Karina Smirnoff, Ukrainian dancer
Kimberley Locke, American singer and model
Liya Kebede, Ethiopian model, clothing designer and actress
Park Sol-mi, South Korean actress
January 4 – Karine Ruby, French snowboarder (d. 2009)
January 5 – Franck Montagny, French Formula One driver
January 7 – Emilio Palma, Argentine citizen, first human born in Antarctica
Chad Ocho Cinco, American football player
A. J. McLean, American singer (Backstreet Boys)
Gennaro Gattuso, Italian football player
January 10 – Kanako Mitsuhashi, Japanese voice actress
January 11 – Emile Heskey, English football player
Nate Silver, American statistician, sabermetrician, psephologist, and writer.
Ashmit Patel, Indian actor
January 14 – Shawn Crawford, American runner
Eddie Cahill, American actor
Franco Pellizotti, Italian professional road racing cyclist
Thor Hushovd, Norwegian professional road bicycle racer
Katja Kipping, German politician
January 19 – Bamboo Mañalac, Filipino musician and singer
January 20 – Omar Sy, French actor and comedian
Mark Hildreth, Canadian actor/voice actor
Nami Miyahara, Japanese voice actress, singer
January 25 – Gordie Dwyer American former NHL player and coach
January 26 – Kelly Stables, American actress
Gianluigi Buffon, Italian goalkeeper (football)
Jamie Carragher, English footballer
Sheamus, Irish professional wrestler
January 31 – Ibolya Oláh, Hungarian singer
Barry Ferguson, Scottish footballer
Guido Kaczka, Argentine television show host and actor
Brian Russell, American football player
Samuel Sánchez, Spanish road bicycle racer
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Nigerian actress, singer, philanthropist and former model
Ashton Kutcher, American actor, better known for his role in That '70s Show
Gethin Jones, British (Welsh) television presenter
Silver Meikar, Estonian politician
February 13 – Niklas Bäckström, Finnish hockey player (Minnesota Wild)
Richard Hamilton, American basketball player
Darius Songaila, Lithuanian basketball player
Gil Seong-joon, Korean hip-hop musician
Tuan Le, American poker player
John Tartaglia, American Broadway actor and Muppeteer
Tia Hellebaut, Belgian athlete
February 17 – Jacob Wetterling, American child kidnapping victim (missing since 1989; in September 2016, it was determined that he died in October 1989)
February 18 – Oliver Pocher, German actor, stand-up comedian and television host
Kenyatta Wright, American football linebacker
Immortal Technique, Peruvian-born American rapper
February 20 – Julia Jentsch, German actress
Kim Ha-neul, South Korean actress
Kumail Nanjiani, Pakistani-American actor and comedian
February 22 – Jenny Frost, English singer (Atomic Kitten)
February 23 – Dan Snyder, Canadian hockey player (d. 2003)
Leon Constantine, British Leeds United footballer
Gary, South Korean musician, entertainer
February 27 – Kakha Kaladze, Georgian and A.C. Milan footballer
Benjamin Raich, Austrian Olympic skier
Jeanne Cherhal, French singer-songwriter
Yasir Hameed, Pakistani cricketer
Jensen Ackles, American actor
Donovan Patton, Guamanian television star
Sakura Nogawa, Japanese voice actress
Tomáš Kaberle, Czech hockey player
Sebastian Janikowski, American football player
March 4 – Denis Dallan, Italian rugby union footballer
Sage Rosenfels, American football player
Mike Jackson, American politician
March 7 – Jaqueline Jesus, Brazilian psychologist and activist
March 8 – Mohammed Bouyeri, Dutch mobster, murderer of Theo van Gogh
March 10 – Benjamin Burnley, American musician (Breaking Benjamin)
Didier Drogba, Ivorian footballer
Ha Jung-woo, South Korean actor and director
Neal Obermeyer, American editorial cartoonist
Claudio Sanchez, American writer and musician
Tom Danielson, American cyclist
Kenny Watson, American football player
Pieter van den Hoogenband, Dutch swimmer
Carl Johan Bergman, Swedish biathlete
Moon Hee-joon, Korean singer
March 15 – Flavio Furtado, Cape Verdean boxer
Jason M. Burns, American writer
Patrick Seitz, American voice actor
March 19 – Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Icelandic actress
March 20 – Roel van Velzen, Dutch Musician
March 21 – Rani Mukerji, Indian actress
March 22 – Josh Heupel, American football player
Simon Gärdenfors, Swedish cartoonist and radio host
Nicholle Tom, American actress
March 26 – Sandra Romain, Romanian pornographic actress
March 29 – Igor Rakočević, Serbian basketball player
Stephen Clemence, English footballer
Jérôme Rothen, French footballer
Vitor Belfort, Brazilian martial artist
Antonio de Nigris, Mexican footballer (d. 2009)
April 2 – Nick Berg, American businessman (d. 2004)
Matthew Goode, English actor
John Smit, South African rugby union player
Jason Ellison, American baseball player
Sam Moran, Australian singer and former member of The Wiggles
Irene Skliva, Miss World 1996
April 5 – Franziska van Almsick, German swimmer
April 6 – Tim Hasselbeck, American football player
April 7 – Duncan James, English singer (Blue)
Jorge Andrade, Portuguese footballer
Rachel Stevens, English singer (S Club 7)
Veronica Taylor, American voice actress
Cheeming Boey, Malaysian artist
Guy Berryman, Scottish musician
April 13 – Kyle Howard, American television and movie actor
Matthew Lloyd, Australian rules footballer
Lara Dutta, Indian actress and Miss Universe 2000
Juan Guillermo Castillo, Uruguayan goalkeeper
Jason White, Scottish rugby union player
April 19 – James Franco, American actor
Matt Austin, Canadian actor
Mirei Kuroda, Japanese gravure idol
April 21 – Jukka Nevalainen, Finnish drummer (Nightwish)
April 23 – Princess Tamara Czartoryski-Borbon, Spanish athlete
April 25 – Duncan Kibet, Kenyan long-distance runner
April 26 – Stana Katic, American actress
Nate Richert, American musician and former actor
Robert Oliveri, American former actor
April 29 – Bob and Mike Bryan, American doubles tennis team
May 1 – James Badge Dale, American actor
Lawrence Tynes, American football player
Autumn Phillips, British wife of Peter Phillips, son of Anne, Princess Royal
Erin Andrews, American ESPN personality
Daisuke Ono, Japanese voice actor
May 6 – Aleksandr Fyodorov, Russian bodybuilder
Brian Clevinger, American author
Shawn Marion, American basketball player
Kenan Thompson, American actor (Saturday Night Live)
Marcelo Moretto, Brazilian footballer
May 11 – Laetitia Casta, French supermodel and actress
Hossein Rezazadeh, Iranian weightlifter
Jason Biggs, American actor
Aya Ishiguro, Japanese singer, writer, and fashion designer
Malin Åkerman, Swedish-Canadian Actress
Mike Bibby, American basketball player
Barry Zito, American baseball player
Caroline Dhavernas, French-Canadian actress
Dwayne De Rosario, Canadian footballer
David Krumholtz, American actor
Krissy Taylor, American model (d. 1995)
Krzysztof Ignaczak, Polish volleyball player
May 17 – Kat Foster, American actress
May 18 – Ricardo Carvalho, Portuguese footballer
May 19 – Marcus Bent, English footballer
Adam Gontier, lead singer of Canadian band Three Days Grace
Briana Banks, German-American porn star
Katie Price (Jordan), English model and television personality
Ginnifer Goodwin, American actress
Scott Raynor, Drummer and founding member of Blink-182
Carolyn Moos, American model and professional basketball player
May 25 – Brian Urlacher, American football player
May 26 – Benji Gregory, former American actor
May 28 – Jake Johnson, American actor and comedian
Pelle Almqvist, Swedish singer-songwriter of The Hives
Lorenzo Odone, American adrenoleukodystrophy patient (d. 2008)
Adam Rickitt, English actor, singer and model
Eser Oner, Father
Antonietta Di Martino, Italian high-jumper
Link Neal, American musician, comedian and internet personality, host of "Good Mythical Morning"
Nikki Cox, American actress
Justin Long, American actor
Simone Maludrottu, Italian boxer
Robin Lord Taylor, American actor
June 5 – Nick Kroll, American actor and comedian
Judith Barsi, American child actress (d. 1988)
Carl Barât, English musician
Mariana Popova, Bulgarian singer
Jesse Ball, American novelist and poet
Bill Hader, American actor (Saturday Night Live)
June 8 – Maria Menounos, American actress, journalist, and television presenter
Michaela Conlin, American actress
Shandi Finnessey, American model and actress, Miss USA 2004
Miroslav Klose, German professional footballer
Matthew Bellamy, British multi-instrumentalist and singer (Muse)
Shane West, American actor
Han Hee-won, South Korean golfer
Karl Scully, Irish tenor
June 11 – Joshua Jackson, Canadian actor
Wilfred Bouma, Dutch football player
Anna Torv, Australian actress
June 16 – Daniel Brühl, German actor
June 18 – Tara Platt American voice actress/actress
Garfield, fictional character from the Garfield comic strip
Mía Maestro, Argentine actress
Dirk Nowitzki, German basketball player
Zoe Saldana, American actress
Mike Birbiglia, American actor & comedian
Quinton Jackson, American mixed martial arts fighter
Frank Lampard, English footballer
Erica Durance, Canadian actress
Jean-Pascal Lacoste, French singer, actor and TV host
Champ Bailey, American football player
Dan Wheldon, English race car driver (d. 2011)
Tim Driesen, Belgian actor and singer-songwriter
Ariel Pink, American indie rock musician
Emppu Vuorinen, Finnish rock musician (Nightwish)
Juan Román Riquelme, Argentine football player
Shunsuke Nakamura, Japanese football player
Aftab Shivdasani, Indian actor
Marcus Stroud, American football player
Aramis Ramírez, Dominican baseball player
June 27 – Anna Kumble, English pop singer and TV presenter
June 28 – Ha Ji-won, South Korean actress and singer
June 29 – Nicole Scherzinger, American pop singer (The Pussycat Dolls)
Ben Cousins, Australian rules footballer
Pat Dennis, American football player
July 1 – Hillary Tuck, American actress
Diana Gurtskaya, blind Georgian singer
Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia
July 3 – Mizuki Noguchi, Japanese long-distance runner
Tony Reali, American sports personality
Becki Newton, American actress
Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby union footballer
Tia and Tamera Mowry, African-American actresses
July 8 – Rachael Lillis, American actress
Linda Park, Korean-born actress
Mark Medlock, German pop singer (Deutschland sucht den Superstar's Season 4)
July 10 – Jesse Lacey, American singer-songwriter
Bradley Eustace, Australian composer
Topher Grace, American actor, better known for his role in That '70s Show
Michelle Rodriguez, American actress
July 15 – Greg Sestero, French-American actor and model
July 17 – Panda Bear, American musician
Shane Horgan, Irish rugby player
Virginia Raggi, Italian lawyer, Mayor of Rome
Ben Sheets, American baseball player
Pavel Datsyuk, Russian ice hockey player
Charlie Korsmo, American former child actor
Tamsyn Manou, Australian athlete
Chris Sligh, American singer-songwriter and producer (Half Past Forever)
Will Solomon, American basketball player
Elliott Yamin, American singer
Justin Bartha, American actor
Josh Hartnett, American actor
Kyoko Iwasaki, Japanese swimmer
July 22 – Candace Kroslak, American actress
Stuart Elliott, Northern Irish footballer
Stefanie Sun, Singapore singer
Louise Brown, British citizen, first human born through in vitro fertilisation
Gerard Warren, American football player
Jehad Muntasser, Libyan footballer
Eve Myles, Welsh actress
July 28 – Hitomi Yaida, Japanese singer
Will Champion, English drummer for Coldplay
Justin Wilson, English racing driver (d. 2015)
Mariusz Jop, Polish footballer
Shanelle Workman, American actress
August 4 – Kurt Busch, American race car driver
August 5 – Carolina Duer, Argentine world champion boxer
Marisa Miller, American supermodel
Freeway, American rapper
Peng Cheng-min, Taiwanese baseball player
Alexandre Aja, French director
Vanness Wu, Taiwanese singer
Countess Vaughn, American actress
Natsuko Kuwatani, Japanese voice actress
August 9 – Daniela Denby-Ashe, English actress
Vibeke Stene, Norwegian rock singer (Tristania)
Jelena Karleuša, Serbian pop singer
August 18 – Andy Samberg, American actor and comedian
Chris Capuano, American baseball player
Qais Al Khonji, Omani Entrepreneur
Reuben Droughns, American football player
Alan Lee, Irish footballer
August 22 – James Corden, British actor, singer, comedian, and television personality; current host of CBS's The Late Late Show
Kobe Bryant, African-American retired basketball player (1996-2016)
Julian Casablancas, leader singer for The Strokes
August 24 – Rafael Furcal, Dominican baseball player
August 25 – Kel Mitchell, American actor
August 26 – Amanda Schull, American actress
Kelly Overton, American actress
Sam Wills, New Zealand prop comic, busker, and mime known by his stage name TapeFace; contestant from America's Got Talent season 11
August 29 – Danielle Hampton, Canadian actress
August 30 – Swizz Beatz, American record producer and rapper
August 31 – Ido Pariente, Israeli mixed martial artist
September 3 – Tinkara Kovač, Slovenian singer and musician
Wes Bentley, American actor
Frederik Veuchelen, Belgian cyclist
Mathew Horne, English actor
Homare Sawa, Japanese footballer
September 7 – Devon Sawa, Canadian actor
September 9 – Gina Gogean, Romania artistic gymnast
Ed Reed, American football player
Ben Lee, Australian singer
Else-Marthe Sørlie Lybekk, Norwegian handball player
Ruben Studdard, African-American singer
Ben McKenzie, American actor
Ben Cohen, English rugby union player
Carmen Kass, Estonian supermodel
Eiður Guðjohnsen, Icelandic football player
David Sneddon, Scottish singer-songwriter
September 18 – Kendra Lust, American pornographic actress
Jason Bay, Canadian baseball player
Patrizio Buanne, Italian singer
Sarit Hadad, Israeli pop singer
September 21 – Doug Howlett, New Zealand rugby union player
September 22 – Harry Kewell, Australian footballer
Anthony Mackie, American actor
Worm Miller, American screenwriter, director, actor
Miguel Mondragon, American attorney, father and all around great guy
September 24 – Wietse van Alten, Dutch archer
Jodie Kidd, English model
Ani Lorak, Ukrainian pop singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, and former UN Goodwill Ambassador, Eurovision Song Contest 2008 runner-up
September 28 – Pastora Soler, Spanish singer
September 29 – Kurt Nilsen, Norwegian singer
September 30 – Candice Michelle, American professional wrestler and model
October 2 – Ayumi Hamasaki, Japanese singer
Christian Coulson, English actor
Shannyn Sossamon, American actress
Dana Davis, American actress
Mark Day, Canadian actor
Phillip Glasser, American actor and producer
Kei Horie, Japanese actor
Shane Ryan, Irish Gaelic footballer
James Valentine, American musician (Maroon 5)
Morgan Webb, television personality
October 9 – Nicky Byrne, Irish musician (Westlife)
Paul Hunter, English snooker player (d. 2006)
Usher, African-American singer and actor
Wesley Jonathan, American actor
Mike Tindall, husband of Zara Phillips, daughter of Anne, Princess Royal
Kira, German singer
Dionne Quan, American voice actress
Virender Sehwag, Indian cricketer
October 21 – Joey Harrington, American football player
October 23 – John Lackey, American baseball player
October 24 – Carlos Edwards, Trinidadian footballer
Russell Anderson, Scottish footballer
Zachary Knighton, American actor
David T. Little, American composer and drummer
Phil "CM Punk" Brooks, American professional wrestler
Antonio Pierce, American football player
October 27 – Vanessa-Mae, Singaporean violinist
October 28 – Justin Guarini, American singer
October 29 – Travis Henry, American football player
October 30 – Matthew Morrison, American actor and singer
Jessica Valenti, American blogger and feminist writer
Manju Warrier, Indian actress
Mary Kate Schellhardt, American actress
November 3 – Tim McIlrath, American punk singer (Rise Against)
November 5 – Bubba Watson, American golfer
Taryn Manning, American actress
Sandrine Blancke, Belgian actress
Zaheer Khan, Indian cricketer
Mark Read, English singer (A1)
November 8 – Ali Karimi, Iranian football player
November 9 – Sisqó, African-American actor and singer
Nadine Angerer, German footballer
Kyla Cole, Czech model
Diplo, American DJ, music producer, and songwriter
Eve, African-American rapper
Drew McConnell, English musician
November 11 – Jyothika, Indian actress
November 12 – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Pakistani journalist, activist and filmmaker
November 13 – Hsu Wei Lun, Taiwanese actress (d. 2007)
Bobby Allen, American ice hockey player
Xavier Nady, American baseball player
Rachel McAdams, Canadian actress
Reggie Wayne, American football player
Damien Johnson, Northern Irish footballer
Aldo Montano, Italian fencer
November 19 – Matt Dusk, Canadian jazz musician & singer
November 21 – Annie, Norwegian singer
November 24 – Katherine Heigl, American actress
November 25 – Shiina Ringo, Japanese singer and musician
November 26 – Jun Fukuyama, Japanese voice actor
November 27 – Mike Skinner, English musician
November 29 – Ludwika Paleta, Polish-Mexican actress
Emil Steiner, American author
Gael García Bernal, Mexican actor
Mat Kearney, American singer/songwriter and musician
Stefan Kapičić, Serbian actor
Nelly Furtado, Portuguese-Canadian singer and songwriter
Christopher Wolstenholme, British multi-instrumentalist (Muse)
December 4 – Lars Bystøl, Norwegian ski jumper
Neil Druckmann, American writer, creative director and programmer
Olli Jokinen, Finnish ice hockey player
Shiri Appleby, American actress
Bajrakitiyabha, Princesses of Thailand
Ian Somerhalder, American actor
Vernon Wells, American baseball player
Jesse Metcalfe, American actor
Gastón Gaudio, Argentine tennis player
December 10 – Brandon Novak, American freestyle skateboarder and TV/radio personality
December 12 – Monica Bîrlădeanu, Romanian actress
December 15 – Jerome McDougle, American football player
December 16 – Joe Absolom, British actor
Manny Pacquiao, Filipino boxer and politician
Chase Utley, American baseball player
Daniel Cleary, Canadian ice hockey player
Katie Holmes, American actress
December 19 – Patrick Casey, American screenwriter and actor
Geremi, Cameroon footballer
Jacqueline Saburido, Venezuelan-born drunk driving accident survivor and promoter of non-drunk driving
December 21 – Shaun Morgan, lead singer of South African band Seether
December 22 – Edo Maajka, Bosnian rapper
Andra Davis, American football player
Jodie Marsh, British model
Víctor Martínez, Venezuelan baseball player
Estella Warren, Canadian swimmer, model, and actress
December 24 – Yıldıray Baştürk, Turkish footballer
December 25 – Paula Seling, Romanian singer and radio DJ
December 26 – Kaoru Sugayama, Japanese volleyball player
December 28 – John Legend, American singer
December 29 – Alexis Amore, Peruvian actress, dancer, and model
Tyrese Gibson, African-American actor and singer
Inferno, Polish musician
Yulia Barsukova, Russian rhythmic gymnast
Craig Wayne Boyd, American country music singer and winner of The Voice season 7
Fabian Göranson, Swedish illustrator
Raghda Khateb, Syrian voice actress
Tomicah Tillemann, American diplomat and social entrepreneur
January 1 – S. Poniman, Indonesian singer and actor (b. 1910)
Wyatt Emory Cooper, American screenwriter and author (b. 1927)
Sally Eilers, American actress (b. 1908)
January 8 – André François-Poncet, French politician and diplomat (b. 1887)
January 9 – Noble Johnson, American actor (b. 1881)
Hubert Humphrey, 38th Vice President of the United States and Senator (b. 1911)
Joe McCarthy, American baseball manager (New York Giants) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1887)
Harold Abrahams, British athlete (b. 1899)
Kurt Gödel, Austrian-born mathematician (b. 1906)
Carl Betz, American actor (b. 1921)
Walter H. Thompson, English Scotland Yard detective (b. 1890)
John Lyng, Norwegian politician, 16th Prime Minister of Norway (b. 1905)
January 22 – Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer (b. 1894)
Terry Kath, American rock musician (Chicago) (b. 1946)
Jack Oakie, American actor (The Great Dictator) (b. 1903)
January 26 – Leo Genn, English actor (b. 1905)
January 27 – Oskar Homolka, Austrian actor (b. 1898)
January 29 – Tim McCoy, American actor (b. 1891)
February 2 – Wendy Barrie, British actress (b. 1912)
February 7 – Keizō Komura, Japanese admiral (b. 1896)
February 9 – Warren King, American cartoonist (b. 1916)
James B. Conant, American chemist and headmaster of Harvard University (b. 1893)
Harry Martinson, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
February 15 – Ilka Chase, American actress (b. 1900)
February 16 – Edward Lindberg, American Olympic athlete (b. 1886)
February 18 – Maggie McNamara, American actress (b. 1928)
February 19 – Pankaj Mullick, Bengali composer and singer (b. 1904)
February 22 – Ernest Palmer, American cinematographer (b. 1885)
February 27 – Vadim Salmanov, Russian composer (b. 1912)
Philip Ahn, Korean-American actor (b. 1905)
Zara Cully, American actress (b. 1892)
March 1 – Paul Scott, English writer (b. 1920)
Claude François, French singer-songwriter (aka Cloclo) (b. 1939)
Sofia Vembo, Greek singer and actress (b. 1910)
March 13 – John Cazale, American actor (b. 1935)
Leigh Brackett, American author (b. 1915)
Peggy Wood, American actress (b. 1892)
March 19 – Gaston Julia, French mathematician (b. 1893)
March 20 – Jacques Brugnon, French tennis player (b. 1895)
March 21 – Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (Carroll Daly), 5th President of Ireland (b. 1911)
March 22 – Karl Wallenda, American circus performer (b. 1905)
March 23 – Haim Ernst Wertheimer, Israeli biochemist, recipient of the Israel Prize (b. 1893)
March 31 – Charles Best, American-born medical scientist (b. 1899)
April 4 – Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, Russian inventor (b. 1898)
Ford Frick, 3rd commissioner of Major League Baseball (b. 1894)
Lon L. Fuller, American legal philosopher (b. 1902)
April 9 – Michael Wilson, American screenwriter (b. 1914)
Joe Gordon, American baseball player (New York Yankees) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1915)
F. R. Leavis, British literary critic (b. 1895)
April 16 – Lucius D. Clay, American military governor of Germany after World War II (b. 1897)
April 19 – Joe Dougherty, first voice of Porky Pig (b. 1898)
April 21 – Sandy Denny, English singer (b. 1947)
Basil Dean, English film director and producer (b. 1887)
Will Geer, American actor (b. 1902)
April 25 – Leo Najo, American baseball player (b. 1899)
April 27 – John Doeg, American tennis champion (b. 1908)
May 1 – Aram Khachaturian, Armenian composer (b. 1903)
May 6 – Ethelda Bleibtrey, American Olympic swimmer (b. 1902)
May 8 – Duncan Grant, Scottish painter (b. 1885)
May 9 – Aldo Moro, 38th Prime Minister of Italy (assassinated) (b. 1916)
May 12 – Robert Coogan, American actor (b. 1924)
May 14 – Robert Menzies, 12th Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1894)
Joe Colombo, American gangster (b. 1914)
Aubrey Fitch, American admiral (b. 1883)
May 24 – Barry Atwater, American actor (b. 1918)
May 26 – Tamara Karsavina, Russian ballerina (b. 1885)
May 28 – Arthur Brough, British actor (b. 1905)
June 1 – John W. Burton American film producer, and cinematographer (b. 1906)
June 4 – Mark R. Shaw, American temperance movement leader and Prohibition Party candidate for vice-president in 1964, (b. 1889)
June 7 – Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, British chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
June 9 – Prince Nicholas of Romania (b. 1903)
June 18 – Walter C. Alvarez, American physician (b. 1884)
June 20 – Mark Robson, Canadian film director (b. 1913)
June 22 – Jens Otto Krag, Danish politician, 2-Time Prime Minister of Denmark (b. 1914)
Ahmad al-Ghashmi, President of Yemen (b. 1935)
Robert Charroux, French writer (b. 1909)
June 25 – Barry Brown, American actor and writer (b. 1951)
June 27 – Josette Day, French actress (b. 1914)
June 28 – Clifford Dupont, 1st President of Rhodesia (b. 1905)
June 29 – Bob Crane, American actor (b. 1928)
July 1 – Kurt Student, Luftwaffe general and commander of the German airborne forces during World War II. (b. 1890)
July 3 – Edouard Kutter (1887)|Edouard Kutter]], Luxembourg photographer (b. 1887)
July 4 – Sam Pottle (1934)|Sam Pottle]], America photographer (b. 1934
July 8 – Aagot Nissen, Norwegian actress (b. 1882)
July 10 – Takashi Suzuki, Japanese politician. (b. 1882)
John D. Rockefeller III, America philanthropist (b. 1906)
July 14 – Gaston Ragueneau, French athlete (b. 1881)
July 16 – Howard Estabrook, America actor (b. 1884)
July 20 – Gerald Warner Brace, America writer, educator, sailor and boat builder (b. 1901)
July 25 – Helen Corke, English writer (b. 1882)
July 30 – Umberto Nobile, Italian aviator and polar explorer (b. 1885)
Carlos Chávez, Mexican composer (b. 1899)
Totie Fields, American comedian (b. 1930)
August 4 – Frank Fontaine, American comedian and singer (b. 1920)
Dutch Clark, American football player (Detroit Lions) and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1906)
Jesse Haines, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1893)
Queenie Smith, American actress (b. 1898)
Pope Paul VI (b. 1897)
Edward Durell Stone, American architect (b. 1902)
August 7 – Eddie Calvert, British musician (b. 1922)
August 14 – Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator (b. 1907)
August 16 – Jean Acker, American actress (b. 1893)
August 21 – Charles Eames, American architect and designer (b. 1907)
August 22 – Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyan statesman, Prime Minister of Kenya and 1st President of Kenya (b. 1894)
August 24 – Louis Prima, Italian-American singer and actor (b. 1910)
August 26 – Charles Boyer, French actor (b. 1899)
Bruce Catton, American Civil War historian, Pulitzer Prize winner (1954) (b. 1899)
Robert Shaw, English actor (Jaws) (b. 1927)
August 31 – Lee Garmes, American cinematographer (b. 1898)
September 4 – Mario Palanti, Italian architect (b. 1885)
September 7 – Keith Moon, English drummer (The Who) (b. 1946)
September 8 – Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, Argentine film director (b. 1924)
Jack L. Warner, Canadian film studio founder (b. 1892)
Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish poet (b. 1892)
Mike Gazella, American baseball player (b. 1895)
Georgi Markov, Bulgarian writer (b. 1929)
Ronnie Peterson, Swedish Formula One driver (b. 1944)
September 12 – Frank Ferguson, American actor (b. 1899)
September 15 – Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft engineer (b. 1898)
September 23 – Lyman Bostock, American baseball player (b. 1950)
Ruth Etting, American singer (b. 1896)
Hasso von Manteuffel, German general and politician (b. 1897)
September 25 – Bret Morrison, American voice actor (b. 1912)
September 26 – Manne Siegbahn, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1886)
September 28 – Pope John Paul I (b. 1912)
September 30 – Edgar Bergen, American actor and ventriloquist (b. 1903)
October 6 – Johnny O'Keefe, Australian singer (b. 1935)
October 7 – Henry Corbin, French philosopher, theologian and scholar (b. 1903)
October 9 – Jacques Brel, Belgian singer (b. 1929)
October 10 – Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete (b. 1910)
October 12 – Nancy Spungen, American groupie and girlfriend of Sid Vicious (b. 1958)
October 16 – Dan Dailey, American actor (b. 1915)
October 19 – Gig Young, American actor (b. 1913)
October 20 – Gunnar Nilsson, Swedish race car driver (b. 1948)
October 23 – Maybelle Carter, American singer (b. 1909)
October 28 – Geoffrey Unsworth, British cinematographer (b. 1914)
October 30 – Wallace MacDonald, Canadian actor (b. 1891)
November 6 – Harry Bertoia, Italian artist and designer (b. 1915)
November 7 – Gene Tunney, American boxer (b. 1897)
November 8 – Norman Rockwell, American artist and illustrator (b. 1894)
November 10 – Theo Lingen, German actor (b. 1903)
November 15 – Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (b. 1901)
November 16 – Claude Dauphin, French actor (b. 1903)
November 18 – Jim Jones, Peoples Temple founder (b. 1931)
Robert Alan Aurthur, American screenwriter (b. 1922)
Giorgio de Chirico, Italian painter (b. 1888)
November 23 – Jacques Bergier, French writer (b. 1912)
Harvey Milk, American gay rights activist (b. 1930)
George Moscone, American 37th Mayor of San Francisco (b. 1929)
Susan Shaw, British actress (b. 1929)
November 28 – André Morell, British actor (b. 1909)
December 8 – Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1898)
Emilio Portes Gil, 41st President of Mexico
Ed Healey, American football player (Chicago Bears) and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1894)
Ed Wood, American filmmaker (b. 1924)
Raúl Alberto Lastiri, 39th (interim) President of Argentina (b. 1915)
Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)
December 12 – Fay Compton, English actress (b. 1894)
December 15 – Chill Wills, American actor (b. 1902)
December 17 – Don Ellis, American jazz musician, trumpeter, arranger, composer and bandleader (b. 1934)
December 22 – Olaf M. Hustvedt, American admiral (b. 1886)
December 27 – Houari Boumédiènne, 2nd President of Algeria (b. 1932)
W. E. Butler, British occultist (b. 1898)
I. K. Taimni, Indian chemist (b. 1898)
Physics – Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Arno Allan Penzias, Robert Woodrow Wilson
Chemistry – Peter D. Mitchell
Medicine – Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans, Hamilton O. Smith
Literature – Isaac Bashevis Singer
Peace – Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat and Menachem Begin
Economics – Herbert A. Simon
1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (dominical letter A) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1978th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 978th year of the 2nd millennium, the 78th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1970s decade.