January – The subterranean Sarawak Chamber is discovered in Borneo.
Greece enters the European Community, which later becomes the European Union.
Palau becomes a self-governing territory.
January 10 – Salvadoran Civil War: The FMLN launches its first major offensive, gaining control of most of Morazán and Chalatenango departments.
January 15 – Pope John Paul II receives a delegation led by Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa at the Vatican.
January 16 – Loyalists shoot and seriously wound nationalist activist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and her husband.
January 17 – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos lifts martial law.
January 19 – United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity.
January 20 – Iran releases the 52 Americans held for 444 days minutes after Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States, ending the Iran hostage crisis.
January 21 – The first DeLorean DMC-12 automobile, a stainless steel sports car with gull-wing doors, rolls off the production line in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland.
January 23 – An earthquake of 6.8 magnitude in Sichuan, China kills 150.
Jiang Qing ("Madame Mao") is sentenced to death in the People's Republic of China.
In South Africa the largest part of the town Laingsburg is swept away within minutes by one of the strongest floods ever experienced in the Great Karoo.
January 27 – The Indonesian passenger ship Tamponas 2 catches fire and capsizes in the Java Sea, killing 580.
February 4 – Gro Harlem Brundtland becomes Prime Minister of Norway.
February 8 – 20 fans of Olympiacos and 1 fan of AEK Athens die, while 54 are injured, after a stampede at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, possibly because gate 7 does not open immediately after the end of the game.
February 9 – Polish Prime Minister Józef Pińkowski resigns and is replaced by General Wojciech Jaruzelski.
Stardust fire: A fire at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin, Ireland in the early hours kills 48 people and injures 214.
Australia withdraws recognition of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
February 17--February 22 – Pope John Paul II visit to the Philippines.
February 23 – Antonio Tejero, with members of the Guardia Civil, enters the Spanish Congress of Deputies and stops the session where Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo is about to be named president of the government. The coup d'état fails thanks to King Juan Carlos.
February 24 – A powerful, magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Athens, killing 22 people, injuring 400 people and destroying several buildings and 4000 house, mostly in Corinth and the nearby towns of Loutraki, Kiato and Xylokastro.
March 1 – Bobby Sands, a Provisional Irish Republican Army member, begins a hunger strike for political status in Long Kesh prison. He died May 5, the first of 10 men.
March 11 – Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet is sworn in as President of Chile for another 8-year term.
March 17 – In Italy the Propaganda Due Masonic Lodge is discovered.
March 19 – Three workers are killed and 5 injured during a test of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
March 29 – The first London Marathon starts with 7,500 runners.
March 30 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.; 2 police officers and Press Secretary James Brady are also wounded.
April 1 – Daylight saving time is introduced in the Soviet Union.
April 4 – UK pop group Bucks Fizz' song "Making Your Mind Up" wins the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
April 6 – Eventual 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders becomes the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and was in office until April 4, 1989. 26 years later he got elected as Democratic U.S. Senator from Vermont, and still remains the state's current Senator.
April 11 – 1981 Brixton riot: Rioters in south London throw petrol bombs, attack police and loot shops.
April 12 – The Space Shuttle program: Space Shuttle Columbia with NASA astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen launches on the STS-1 mission, returning to Earth on April 14. It is the first time a manned reusable spacecraft has returned from orbit.
April 15 – The first Coca-Cola bottling plant in China is opened.
A Minor League Baseball game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, becomes the longest professional baseball game in history: 8 hours and 25 minutes/33 innings (the 33rd inning is not played until June 23).
The rock band Yes splits up (regrouping in 1983).
April 26 – French presidential election: A first-round runoff results between Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterrand.
May – Daniel K. Ludwig abandons the Jari project in the Amazon basin.
May 1 – The new Chilean pension system, based on private pension funds, begins.
May 4 – The European Law Students' Association (ELSA) was founded in Vienna by law students from Austria, West Germany, Poland and Hungary.
May 5 – Bobby Sands, Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer and abstentionist Member of Parliament of the House of Commons, dies, aged 27, while on hunger strike in prison.
May 6 – A jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selects Maya Lin's design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from 1,421 other entries.
May 11 – Jamaican singer Bob Marley dies aged 36 from cancer.
May 13 – Pope John Paul II is shot and nearly killed by Mehmet Ali Ağca, a Turkish gunman who is allegedly on orders from the Soviet KGB to shoot him, as he enters St. Peter's Square in Vatican City to address a general audience. The Pope successfully recovers.
May 15 – Donna Payant is murdered by serial killer Lemuel Smith, the first time a female prison officer has been killed on-duty in the United States.
May 21 – In France, Socialist François Mitterrand becomes the first socialist President of the French Fifth Republic.
May 22 – Peter Sutcliffe is found guilty of being the Yorkshire Ripper. He is sentenced to life imprisonment on 13 counts of murder and 7 of attempted murder.
May 25 – In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council is created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Alain Robert scales the Willis Tower in Chicago.
May 26 – The Italian government resigns over its links to the fascist Masonic cell Propaganda Due.
May 30 – Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman is assassinated in Chittagong.
May 31 – Burning of Jaffna library, was one of the most violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the 20th century.
June 5 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 5 homosexual men in Los Angeles have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems (the first recognized cases of AIDS).
June 6 – Bihar train disaster: Seven coaches of an overcrowded passenger train fall off the tracks into the Bagmati River in Bihar, India, killing between 500 and 800.
June 7 – The Israeli Air Force destroys Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor killing ten Iraqi troops and a French technician.
June 12 – Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is released in theaters.
June 13 – At the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London, Marcus Sarjeant fires 6 blank shots at Elizabeth II.
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States is founded.
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter makes its first flight at Groom Lake (Area 51), NV.
June 22 – Iranian president Abolhassan Banisadr is deposed.
The first game of paintball is played in Henniker, New Hampshire.
The E-mu Emulator sampler keyboard with floppy disk operation is unveiled at NAMM international Sound & Music Expo, Chicago. Production Model Serial Number 001 is issued to Stevie Wonder
July 2 – The Wonderland Gang is brutally murdered in a massacre involving Eddie Nash.
July 3 – The Toxteth riots in Liverpool, UK start after a mob saves a youth from being arrested. Shortly afterward, the Chapeltown riots in Leeds start after increased racial tension.
July 7 – United States President Ronald Reagan nominates the first woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, to the Supreme Court of the United States.
July 8 – Irish republican volunteer Joe McDonnell dies at the Long Kesh Internment Camp after a 61-day hunger strike.
July 9 – Donkey Kong is released, marking the first Donkey Kong title and Mario title arcade smash hit game developed by Nintendo.
Mahathir bin Mohamad becomes the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Urban rioting hits several parts of the United Kingdom, including Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham.
July 16-21 – England become the first team this century to win a test match after following on when they beat Australia by 18 runs at Headingley cricket ground, Leeds, England.
Hyatt Regency walkway collapse: Two skywalks filled with people at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri collapse into a crowded atrium lobby, killing 114.
Israeli aircraft bomb Beirut, destroying multi-story apartment blocks containing the offices of PLO associated groups, killing approximately 300 civilians and resulting in worldwide condemnation and a U.S. embargo on the export of aircraft to Israel.
In Bolivia, General Luis Gracia Meza leads a bloody coup d'état against the elected government of Lidia Gayler.
July 19 – The 1981 Springbok Tour commences in New Zealand, amid controversy over the support of apartheid.
July 21 – Tohui The Panda is born in Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City, the first panda to ever be born and survive in captivity outside of China.
July 29 – A worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watch the Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in London.
July 30 – As many as 50,000 demonstrators, mostly women and children, took to the streets in Łódź to protest food ration shortages in Communist Poland.
August 1 – The first 24-hour video music channel MTV (Music Television) is launched.
August 9 – Major League Baseball resumes from the strike with the All-Star Game in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.
The original Model 5150 IBM PC (with a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 processor) is released in the United States at a base price of $1,565.
Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Gulf of Sidra incident (1981): Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sends two Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets to intercept two U.S. fighters over the Gulf of Sidra. The American jets destroy the Libyan fighters.
August 24 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, after pleading guilty to murdering John Lennon in Manhattan 8 months earlier.
August 28 – South African troops invade Angola.
August 31 – A bomb explodes at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, West Germany, injuring 20 people.
September 1 – Gregorio Conrado Álvarez is inaugurated as a military de facto President of Uruguay.
September 4 – An explosion at a mine in Záluží, Czechoslovakia, kills 65 people.
September 8 – the first episode of the extremely popular British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Big Brother is shown on BBC One.
September 10 – Picasso's painting "Guernica" is moved from New York to Madrid.
September 15 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world, at 150 years old, when it operates under its own power outside Washington, D.C.
September 16 – Postman Pat is first aired on BBC1.
September 17 – Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes to win his first World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in Kansas City.
September 18 – France abolishes capital punishment.
September 19 – Simon & Garfunkel perform The Concert in Central Park, a free concert in New York in front of approximately half a million people.
September 20 – The Brazilian river boat Sobral Santos capsizes in the Amazon River, Óbidos, Brazil, killing at least 300.
September 21 – Belize gains independence from the United Kingdom.
Sandra Day O'Connor takes her seat as the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Rolling Stones begin their Tattoo You tour at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
The Boeing 767 airliner makes its first flight.
The Sydney Tower opens to the public.
September 27 – TGV high-speed rail service between Paris and Lyon, France begins.
September 28 – The classic British children's animated comedy espionage TV series Danger Mouse debuts on ITV in the U.K.
October 2 – English rock band The Police releases Ghost in the Machine.
October 5 – Raoul Wallenberg becomes a posthumously honorary citizen of the United States.
October 6 – Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is assassinated during a parade by army members who belong to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization led by Khalid Islambouli; they opposed his negotiations with Israel.
October 10 – The Ministry for Education of Japan issues the jōyō kanji.
October 14 – Vice President Hosni Mubarak is elected President of Egypt, one week after Anwar Sadat was assassinated.
October 16 – Gas explosions at a coal mine at Hokutan, Yūbari, Hokkaidō, Japan kill 93.
October 21 – Andreas Papandreou becomes Prime Minister of Greece.
October 22 – The founding congress of the Nepal Workers and Peasants Organization faction led by Hareram Sharma and D. P. Singh begins.
October 27 – Soviet submarine S-363 runs aground outside the Karlskrona, Sweden military base.
November 1 – Antigua and Barbuda gain independence from the United Kingdom.
November 9 – Edict No. 81-234 abolishes slavery in Mauritania.
November 12 – The Church of England General Synod votes to admit women to holy orders.
November 16 – Luke and Laura marry on the U.S. soap opera General Hospital; it is the highest-rated hour in daytime television history.
November 18 – COMDEX Fall, IBM introduces the IBM PC; Scientific Solutions announces the first PC add-in cards.
November 22 – The Edmonton Eskimos (14-1-1) barely stave off defeat and win a record 4th consecutive Grey Cup, at the 69th Grey Cup at Montréal's Olympic Stadium defeating the Ottawa Rough Riders (5-11-0) 26-23 in the final 3 seconds; after being down 20-1 at halftime.
November 23 – Iran–Contra affair: U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
November 25–November 26 – A group of mercenaries led by Mike Hoare take over Mahe airport in the Seychelles in a coup attempt. Most of the mercenaries escape by a commandeered Air India passenger jet; 6 are later arrested.
November 30 – Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin negotiating intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe (the meetings end inconclusively on Thursday, December 17).
December 1 – An Inex-Adria Aviopromet McDonnell Douglas MD-80 strikes a mountain peak and crashes while approaching Ajaccio Airport in Corsica, killing all 180 people on board.
December 4 – South Africa grants homeland Ciskei independence, not recognized outside South Africa.
December 7 – Rotary International charters the Rotary Club of Grand Baie, Mauritius.
The No. 21 Mine explosion in Whitwell, Tennessee kills 13.
Arthur Scargill becomes President-elect of the National Union of Mineworkers.
December 10 – During the Ministerial Session of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, Spain signs the Protocol of Accession to NATO.
Boxing: Muhammad Ali loses to Trevor Berbick; this proves to be Ali's last-ever fight.
El Mozote massacre: In El Salvador, army units kill 900 civilians.
December 13 – Wojciech Jaruzelski declares martial law in Poland, to prevent the dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.
December 15 – A car bomb destroys the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 61 people; Syrian intelligence is blamed.
December 17 – American Brigadier General James L. Dozier is kidnapped in Verona by the Italian Red Brigades.
December 20 – The Penlee lifeboat disaster occurs off the coast of South-West Cornwall.
December 21 – Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA).
December 28 – The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
December 31 – A coup d'état in Ghana removes President Hilla Limann's PNP government and replaces it with the PNDC led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings.
January to March – Heavy snow causes many houses and buildings to collapse in northwestern Japan; 152 are killed.
Cuba suffers a major outbreak of Dengue fever, with 344,203 cases.
Use of crack cocaine, a smokeable form of the drug, first reported in the United States and Caribbean.
Luxor AB presents the ABC 800 computer.
Polybius, an urban legend game, is said to have been released in Portland, Oregon; there is no evidence for its existence.
The State Council of the People's Republic of China lists the cities of Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Guilin as those where the protection of historical and cultural heritage, as well as natural scenery, should be treated as a priority project.
Pepsi enters China.
The Millennium translation of Saint Edward the Martyr's relics from Wareham to Shaftesbury in England is observed in a reenactment.
Zsolt Baumgartner, Hungarian race car driver
Mladen Petrić, Croatian football player
Eden Riegel, American actress
January 2 – Maxi Rodríguez, Argentine footballer
January 3 – Eli Manning, American football player, brother of Peyton Manning
January 4 – Silvy De Bie, Belgian singer
January 5 – Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman), Canadian DJ/producer
Mike Jones, American rapper
Rinko Kikuchi, Japanese actress
Jérémie Renier, Belgian actor
January 7 – Alex Auld, Canadian ice hockey goaltender
Xie Xingfang, Chinese badminton player
Genevieve Cortese, American actress
Jeff Francis, Canadian pitcher
Euzebiusz Smolarek, Polish footballer
Caroline Lufkin, American singer
Jamelia, British singer
Tom Meighan, British singer and songwriter, lead vocalist for alternative rock band Kasabian
January 12 – Quentin Griffin, American football player
El Hadji Diouf, Senegalese footballer
Howie Day, American singer and songwriter
Pitbull, American hip-hop musician and record producer
January 16 – Marta Roure, Andorran singer and actress
Scott Mechlowicz, American actor
Ray J, American rapper and singer
January 18 – Otgonbayar Ershuu, Mongolian visual artist
Lucho González, Argentine footballer
Bitsie Tulloch, American actress
Thaila Zucchi, English singer (allSTARS*) and actress
Jason Richardson, American basketball player
Owen Hargreaves, Canadian-born English footballer
Brendan Fevola, Australian rules footballer
Dany Heatley, German-born hockey player
Gillian Chung, Hong Kong singer (Twins)
Mohd Amri Yahyah, Malaysian footballer
Chantelle Anderson, American basketball player
Willa Ford, American singer, television hostess, and actress
Beverley Mitchell, American actress
Ben Moody, American guitarist (formerly of Evanescence)
January 24 – Carrie Coon, American actress
Alicia Keys, American singer
Toše Proeski, Macedonian singer (d. 2007)
January 26 – Gustavo Dudamel, Venezuelan conductor
Greg Owens, Australian soccer player
Alicia Molik, Australian tennis player
January 28 – Elijah Wood, American actor and music producer
January 29 – Jonny Lang, American musician
Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgarian footballer
Chieko Higuchi, Japanese voice actress
January 31 – Justin Timberlake, American actor and musician, former member of 'N Sync
February 2 – Emily Rose, American actress
February 3 – Alisa Reyes, American actress
February 4 – Matchstik, American rapper, singer and songwriter
Lee Eon, South Korean actor and model (d. 2008)
Nora Zehetner, American actress
Sara Foster, American actress
February 8 – Ralf Little, English actor
Tom Hiddleston, British actor
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, American drummer (Avenged Sevenfold) (d. 2009)
Natasha St-Pier, Canadian singer
Holly Willoughby, British television presenter
Kelly Rowland, American singer (Destiny's Child)
Edoardo Molinari, Italian golfer
Lisa Hannigan, Irish singer, songwriter, and musician
Selena Li, Hong Kong actress
February 14 – Erin Torpey, American actress
Jenna Morasca, American television personality
Olivia, American singer
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, American actor and film director
Paris Hilton, American model, heiress, and socialite
Andrei Kirilenko, Russian basketball player
Ivan Sproule, British footballer
Chris Thile, American mandolinist
Majandra Delfino, American actress
February 22 – Jeanette Biedermann, German singer and actress
Josh Gad, American actor
Mai Nakahara, Japanese voice actress
Paleo, American singer-songwriter
Dylan Ryder, American former pornographic actress
February 24 – Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player
Park Ji-sung, South Korean footballer
Shahid Kapoor, Indian Bollywood actor
February 26 – Maria Sansone, American journalist and Internet personality
February 27 – Josh Groban, American singer
Ana Hickmann, Brazilian model
Adam LaVorgna, American actor
Will Power, Australian racing driver
Brad Winchester, American ice hockey player
Lance Cade, American professional wrestler (d. 2010)
Bryce Dallas Howard, American actress
Lil' Flip, American rapper
Shada Hassoun, Iraqi singer
László Nagy, Hungarian handball player
Cristina Scarlat, Moldovan singer
March 5 – Hanna Alström, Swedish actress
March 6 – Ellen Muth, American actress
March 9 – Antonio Bryant, American football player
Kristen Maloney, American gymnast
Samuel Eto'o, Cameroonian footballer
David Anders, American actor
Lee Evans, American football player
LeToya Luckett, American singer
Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenian tennis player
Kenta Kobayashi, Japanese professional wrestler
March 13 – April Matson, American actress and singer
March 15 – Young Buck, American rapper
Andrew Bree, Irish swimmer
Johannes Aigner, Austrian footballer
March 17 – Kyle Korver, American basketball player
March 18 – Fabian Cancellara, Swiss road bicycle racer
Kolo Touré, Ivorian football player
Declan Bennett, English singer/songwriter
MIMS, American rapper
Tiffany Dupont, American actress
March 26 – Jay Sean, British-Indian singer
Lin Jun Jie, Chinese singer
Terry McFlynn, British footballer
Gareth David-Lloyd, Welsh actor
Lindsay Frimodt, American model
Dan Petronijevic, Canadian actor
Julia Stiles, American actress
Megan Hilty, American actress, singer, and broadway star
PJ Morton, American musician, singer, producer, and touring member of Maroon 5
Gerard McCarthy, British actor
Ryōko Shintani, Japanese voice actress
Maarten van der Weijden, Dutch Olympic swimmer
Aslı Bayram, Turkish German model and actress
Aimee Chan, Chinese-Canadian actress
Hannah Spearritt, British singer (S Club 7) and actress
Nolan Yonkman, Canadian hockey player
Bethany Joy Lenz, American actress and singer
Raghav, Canadian singer
April 3 – Arfius Arf, British artist
April 5 – Michael A. Monsoor, American Medal of Honor recipient (d. 2006)
Eliza Coupe, American actress
Robert Earnshaw, Welsh footballer
April 7 – Suzann Pettersen, Norwegian golfer
Taylor Kitsch, Canadian actor and model
Frédérick Bousquet, French swimmer
Milan Bartovič, Slovak hockey player
Eric Harris, American murderer (d. 1999)
Ireneusz Jeleń, Polish footballer
Gretchen Bleiler, American snowboarder
Laura Bell Bundy, American actress, singer, and Broadway star
Liz McClarnon, British singer (Atomic Kitten)
Michael Pitt, American actor
April 11 – Alessandra Ambrosio, Brazilian model
April 15 – Seth Wulsin, American artist
April 17 – Hanna Pakarinen, Finnish singer
Jang Na-ra, Korean actress and singer
Audrey Tang, Taiwanese software programmer
Hayden Christensen, Canadian-American actor
Saskia de Brauw, Dutch model and artist
Troy Polamalu, American football player
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Colombian actress
Mike Christie, English musician
Stephanie Larimore, American model
April 22 – Ken Dorsey, American football player
John McFall, British Paralympic sprinter
Anja Pärson, Swedish alpine skier
Felipe Massa, Brazilian race car driver
April 26 – Matthieu Delpierre, French football player
April 27 – Sandy Mölling, German pop singer
April 28 – Jessica Alba, American actress and businesswoman, co-founder of the Honest Company
April 29 – George McCartney, British footballer
Alexander Hleb, Belarusian football player
Wes Welker, American football player
May 2 – Rina Satō, Japanese voice actress
Farrah Franklin, American singer
Natalie Tong, Hong Kong actress
U;Nee, South Korean singer and actress (d. 2007)
May 4 – Jacques Rudolph, South African cricketer
Craig David, English singer
Danielle Fishel, American actress
Andrés Romero, Argentine golfer
Stephen Amell, Canadian actor
Lauren Jackson, Australian basketball player
Daisuke Matsui, Japanese football player
Dusán Mukics, Slovene journalist and reporter in Hungary
Terry Pheto, South African actress
Rami Malek, American actor
Kentaro Sato, Japanese composer
Dennis Trillo, Filipino actor
Rebecka Liljeberg, Swedish actress
Sunny Leone, Canadian pornstar and Bollywood actress
Jimmy Wang Yang, Korean professional wrestler
Patrice Evra, Senegalese-born French footballer
Zara Phillips, British elite equestrienne and daughter of Anne, Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips
Justin Morneau, Canadian baseball player
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, American actress
May 16 – Joseph Morgan, English actor
May 17 – Shiri Maimon, Israeli pop/R&B singer, TV show host and actress
May 18 – Adam Green, American singer-songwriter
Sani Bečirovič, Slovenian basketball player
Bong Tae-gyu, South Korean actor
Klaas-Erik Zwering, Dutch swimmer
Georges St-Pierre, Canadian mixed martial arts fighter
Rachel Platten, American singer-songwriter
Sean Conlon, English musician (5ive)
Lindsay Taylor, American basketball player
Iker Casillas, Spanish footballer
Belladonna, American porn actress and director
Josh Hamilton, American baseball player
Anna Rogowska, Polish pole vaulter
Daniel Bryan, American professional wrestler
Melissa Gregory, American figure skater
May 26 – Isaac Slade, American singer-songwriter and pianist (The Fray)
May 27 – Alina Cojocaru, Romanian ballerina
Laura Bailey, American voice actress
Aaron Schock, American politician
Andrey Arshavin, Russian football player
Brian Simnjanovski, American football player (d. 2009)
May 30 – Remy Ma, American rapper
May 31 – Jake Peavy, American baseball player
Carlos Zambrano, Venezuelan baseball player
Brandi Carlile, American singer and songwriter
Amy Schumer, American comedian, actress, and screenwriter
June 3 – Mike Adam, Canadian curler
Jennifer Carroll, Canadian swimmer
T. J. Miller, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter
Giourkas Seitaridis, Greek footballer
Natalia Vodopyanova, Russian basketball player
June 5 – Jade Goody, British reality show star (d. 2009)
June 6 – Johnny Pacar, American actor
Anna Kournikova, Russian tennis player
Larisa Oleynik, American actress
Alex Band, American musician
Sara Watkins, American violinist
Ai Nonaka, Japanese voice actress
Vic Chou, Taiwanese actor, singer, and model
Celina Jaitly, Indian actress
Natalie Portman, Israeli-American actress
Anoushka Shankar, British musician and daughter of Ravi Shankar
Hoku Ho, Hawaiian singer and musician
Burton O'Brien, Scottish footballer
Arwind Santos, Filipino professional basketball player
Jonathan Bennett, American actor and model
June 12 – Adriana Lima, Brazilian model
June 13 – Chris Evans, American actor
June 14 – Lonneke Engel, Dutch model
June 15 – Haley Scarnato, American singer
Ben Kweller, American musician
Joe Saunders, American baseball player
June 17 – Amrita Rao, Indian actress
Ella Chen, Taiwanese singer
Yurin, Japanese actress, voice actress and singer
June 20 – Alisan Porter, American singer and retired actress; winner of The Voice season 10
Brandon Flowers, American singer and keyboardist
Simon Delestre, French equestrian
Chris Urbanowicz, British guitarist
Monty Oum, American animator, director, and screenwriter (d. 2015)
June 23 – Antony Costa, English singer (Blue)
Simon Ammann, Swiss ski jumper
Yūichi Komano, Japanese footballer
Sheridan Smith, English actress
June 28 – Mara Santangelo, Italian tennis player
June 29 – Joe Johnson, American basketball player
Alex Koroknay-Palicz, American activist
Paul Anthony Finn, Irish singer and songwriter (The Flaws)
July 3 – Brandon Jay McLaren, Canadian actor
July 4 – Will Smith, former American football player (d. 2016)
Gianne Albertoni, Brazilian model
Ryan Hansen, American actor
July 6 – Nnamdi Asomugha, American football player
Synyster Gates, American guitarist (Avenged Sevenfold)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian cricketer
Anastasia Myskina, Russian tennis player
Ashley Blue, American pornographic actress
July 11 – Andre Johnson, American football player
Rebecca Hunter, English singer (allSTARS*) and actress
Maya Sar, Bosnian singer
Ágnes Kovács, Hungarian swimmer
Fran Kranz, American actor
July 14 – Lee Mead, British actor
July 15 – Taylor Kinney, American Actor
Didz Hammond, bassist/backing vocalist (Dirty Pretty Things and The Cooper Temple Clause)
Nikki Osborne, Australian actress
Anderson Luiz de Carvalho, Brazilian footballer
Damien Delaney, Irish footballer
Dayang Nurfaizah, Malaysian singer
Paloma Faith, English singer, songwriter and actress
Stefan Schumacher, German cyclist
Chrishell Stause, American actress
Steve Jocz, Canadian drummer (Sum 41)
Jarkko Nieminen, Finnish tennis player
Summer Glau, American actress (Firefly)
Doug Bollinger, Australian cricketer
July 25 – Jani Rita, Finnish ice hockey player
July 26 – Maicon Douglas Sisenando, Brazilian footballer
Li Xiaopeng, Chinese gymnast
Dan Jones, British Historian
July 29 – Fernando Alonso, Spanish Two Time Formula 1 World Champion
M. Shadows, American singer (Avenged Sevenfold)
Eric Lively, American actor
Vernon Carey, American football player
Ira Losco, Maltese singer, Eurovision Song Contest 2002 runner-up
Fikirte Addis, Ethiopian fashion designer
Travis Willingham, American voice actor
Marques Houston, American singer and actor (IMx)
Florian Silbereisen, German singer and television presenter
Anna Rawson, Australian professional golfer
Carl Crawford, Major League Baseball outfielder
Rachel Scott, American murder victim (d. 1999)
Kō Shibasaki, Japanese singer and actress
Travie McCoy, American alternative hip-hop artist
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Italian race car driver
Leslie Odom Jr., American actor and singer
Roger Federer, Swiss tennis player
Harel Skaat, Israeli singer
Meagan Good, American actress
Kaori Iida, Japanese singer and actress
Vanessa Amorosi, Australian singer-songwriter, recording artist and entertainer
Bradley McIntosh, English singer (S Club 7)
August 9 – Li Jiawei, Singaporean Olympic table tennis player
Natsumi Abe, Japanese singer and actress
Taufik Hidayat, Indonesian badminton player
August 11 – Sandi Thom, Scottish singer & songwriter
Djibril Cissé, French footballer
Steve Talley, American actor
Ray William Johnson, American actor, comedian, rapper, and YouTuber
Kofi Kingston, Ghanaian professional wrestler
Song Ji-hyo, South Korean actress
Oh Jin-hyek, South Korean archer
August 16 – Taylor Rain, American actress
August 18 – Jan Frodeno, German triathlete
August 20 – Ben Barnes, English actor (Prince Caspian)
Ross Thomas, American actor
Mai Aizawa, Japanese voice actress
August 23 – Carmen Luvana, Puerto Rican adult actress
Jiro Wang, Taiwanese actor and singer (Fahrenheit)
Chad Michael Murray, American actor
Rachel Bilson, American actress
Shiva Keshavan, Indian luge pilot
August 26 – Nico Muhly, American contemporary classical composer
Charlie Frye, American National Football League quarterback
Jake Owen, American country music singer-songwriter
August 29 – Karim Darwish, Egyptian squash player
Park Hyo-shin, Korean singer
Clinton Portis, American football player
Michael Adamthwaite, Canadian voice actor
September 2 – Chris Tremlett, English cricketer
September 3 – Fearne Cotton, British television presenter
Jero, American-born Japanese enka singer
Beyoncé Knowles, American actress and R&B singer (Destiny's Child)
Lacey Mosley, American lead vocalist (Flyleaf)
September 6 – Yumiko Cheng, Hong Kong singer
Dan Fredinburg, American Google executive
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, American actor
Julie Gonzalo, Argentinian actress
Nancy Wu, Hong Kong actress
September 10 – Marco Chiudinelli, Swiss tennis player
Dylan Klebold, American mass murderer (d. 1999)
Charles Kelley, American country music singer-songwriter and founding member of Lady Antebellum
Jennifer Hudson, American singer and actress
Hosea Chanchez, American actor of The Game
September 13 – Angelina Love, Canadian professional wrestler
Ashley Roberts, American singer (The Pussycat Dolls)
Miyavi, Japanese musician
September 15 – Ben Schwartz, American actor
Alexis Bledel, American actress
Fan Bingbing, Chinese actress
September 18 – Jennifer Tisdale, American actress
Nicole Richie, American actress, singer and socialite
Phoenix Marie, American porn actress
Ashley Drane, American actress
Alexei Ramírez, Cuban baseball player
Misti Traya, American actress
Natalie Horler, German singer (Cascada)
Robert Doornbos, Dutch race car driver
Lee Norris, American actor
Rocco Baldelli, American baseball player
Van Hansis, American actor
Shane Tutmarc, American singer-songwriter (Dolour)
Christina Milian, American R&B singer and actress
Serena Williams, American tennis player
Ayumi Tsunematsu, Japanese voice actress
September 28 - Melissa Claire Egan, American actress
September 29 – Suzanne Shaw, British singer (Hear'Say) and actress
Cecelia Ahern, Irish author and daughter of Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach
Dominique Moceanu, Romanian-American gymnast
October 1 – Rupert Friend, English actor, director, screenwriter and producer
Zlatan Ibrahimović, Swedish footballer
Amanda Walsh, Canadian actress
Seth Gabel, American actor
October 5 – Enrico Fabris, Italian speed skater
Ryuji Sainei, Japanese actor
Raffi Torres, Canadian ice hockey player
Ruby, Egyptian singer
Zachery Ty Bryan, American actor
Ryoichi Maeda, Japanese footballer
October 10 – Una Healy, Irish singer (The Saturdays)
October 11 – Beau Brady, Australian actor
Engin Akyürek, Turkish actor
Brian J. Smith, American actor
Ryan Ashford, English footballer
Kele Okereke, English singer (Bloc Party)
October 14 – Ruslan Alekhno, Russian-Belarusian singer
Elena Dementieva, Russian tennis player
Guo Jingjing, Chinese diver
October 16 – Boyd "Rainmaker" Melson, American boxer
October 17 – Tsubasa Imai, Japanese actor, singer and dancer (Tackey & Tsubasa)
October 19 – Christian Bautista, Filipino singer, actor, host, and model
Willis McGahee, American football player
Stefan Nystrand, Swedish swimmer
October 21 – Nemanja Vidić, Serbian football player
October 22 – Michael Fishman, American actor
Olivier Occéan, Canadian footballer
Huo Siyan, Chinese actress
Tila Tequila, Vietnamese-American model and singer
Mallika Sherawat, Indian actress
Shaun Wright-Phillips, English footballer
Hiroshi Aoyama, Japanese motorcycle road racer
October 26 – Guy Sebastian, original Australian Idol 2003 singer
Milan Baroš, Czech footballer
Dwayne Cameron, New Zealand actor
Noah Galloway, American former soldier and contestant from Dancing With The Stars
Jonathan Brown, Australian rules footballer
Amanda Beard, American swimmer
Angelika Dela Cruz, Filipina actress and singer
Chris Clemons, American football player
Fiona Dourif, American actress, daughter of Brad Dourif
Jun Ji-hyun, South Korean actress
Shaun Sipos, Canadian actor
Ivanka Trump, American model
Selina Ren, member of Taiwanese girl-group S.H.E
Irina Denezhkina, Russian writer
Frank Iero, American guitarist (My Chemical Romance)
November 1 – LaTavia Roberson, American singer (Destiny's Child)
Tatiana Totmianina, Russian figure skater
Katharine Isabelle, Candanian actress
Blair Chenoweth, American beauty queen
Jackie Gayda, American professional wrestler
Lakshmi Menon, Indian model
Vince Wilfork, American football player
Paul Tucker Canadian comic-book artist
November 6 – Cassie Bernall, American murder victim (d. 1999)
November 7 – George Pilkington, English footballer;
Joe Cole, English footballer
Azura Skye, American actress
Tony Blanco, Dominican baseball player
Jason Dunham, American Medal of Honor recipient (d. 2004)
Alison Waite, American model
Natalie Glebova, Canadian beauty queen
Raphael Gualazzi, Italian singer and pianist, Eurovision Song Contest 2011 runner-up
Jyothika, Indian actress
Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Mark Cardona, Filipino basketball player
Shawn Yue, Hong Kong actor and singer
Kirsten Price, American porn actress
November 14 – Russell Tovey, British actor
November 15 – Lorena Ochoa, Mexican golfer
November 16 – Caitlin Glass, American voice actress
November 17 – Sarah Harding, British singer (Girls Aloud)
November 19 – Yfke Sturm, Dutch model
November 20 – Kimberley Walsh, British singer (Girls Aloud)
Bryant McFadden, American football player
Ainārs Kovals, Latvian javelin thrower
Ben Adams, British singer (A1)
Seweryn Gancarczyk, Polish footballer
Song Hye-kyo, South Korean actress
November 24 – Lindsey Doe, American sexologist and video blogger
Xabi Alonso, Spanish footballer
Barbara Pierce Bush, daughter of U.S. President George W. Bush
Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of U.S. President George W. Bush
Natasha Bedingfield, British singer
Jon Ryan, Canadian National Football League football player from Regina, Saskatchewan
Aurora Snow, American pornographic actress
November 27 – Gary Lucy, British actor
Tom Hurndall, British photographer (d. 2004)
Fawad Afzal Khan, Pakistani and Indian actor
Bakhyt Sarsekbayev, Kazakh Olympic boxer
Kimberly Cullum, American actress
Billy Lush, American actor
December 1 – Kathryn Drysdale, English actress
December 2 – Britney Spears, American singer and entertainer
David Villa, Spanish footballer
Brian Bonsall, American actor
Tyjuan Hagler, American football player
Lila McCann, American singer
Courtney Cummz, American pornographic actress
December 8 – Philip Rivers, NFL quarterback of the San Diego Chargers
December 9 – Dia Mirza, Bollywood actress
Zacky Vengeance, American guitarist (Avenged Sevenfold)
Javier Saviola, Argentine soccer player
Kevin Phillips, American film actor
Jeff McComsey, American artist
Nikki Benz, Ukrainian-American porn actress
December 12 – Spencer Johnson, NFL player
December 13 – Amy Lee, American pianist/singer/songwriter (Evanescence)
December 14 – Amber Chia, Malaysian model and actress
Michelle Dockery, British actress
Thomas Herrion, American football player (d. 2005)
Donal Coonan, UK presenter for Channel 4's webshow thisisaknife
Roman Pavlyuchenko, Russian soccer player
A. J. Allmendinger, American racecar driver
Gaby Moreno, Guatemalan singer
December 18 – Joshua Dallas, American actor
December 19 – Monica Leigh, American model
Lynda Thomas, Mexican eurodance and alternative rock musician
Cristian Zaccardo, Italian footballer
December 24 – Dima Bilan, Russian pop-singer
Emilie de Ravin, Australian actress
Yuvraj Singh, Indian cricketer
Elizabeth Jordan Carr, first American test-tube baby
Sienna Miller, American-born English actress
Khalid Boulahrouz, Dutch footballer
December 29 – Shizuka Arakawa, Japanese figure skater
Kyle Eckel, American National Football League player
Haley Paige, American porn actress (d. 2007)
Matthew Pavlich, former professional Australian rules footballer
January 1 – Mauri Rose, American race car champion (b. 1906)
January 3 – Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria (b. 1883)
Harold C. Urey, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1893)
Lanza del Vasto, Italian-born philosopher, poet, and activist (b. 1901)
January 6 – A. J. Cronin, Scottish novelist (b. 1896)
January 7 – John Pascal, American playwright, screenwriter, author, and journalist (b. 1932)
January 8 – Matthew Beard, American actor (b. 1925)
Katherine Alexander, American actress (b. 1898)
Richard Boone, American actor (b. 1917)
January 11 – Beulah Bondi, American actress (b. 1888)
January 13 – Robert Kellard, American actor (b. 1915)
January 16 – Bernard Lee, English actor (b. 1908)
January 19 – Francesca Woodman, American photographer (b. 1958)
January 21 – Allyn Joslyn, American actor (b. 1901)
Samuel Barber, American composer (b. 1910)
Lobsang Rampa (Cyril Henry Hoskin), English author (b. 1910)
January 25 – Adele Astaire, American actress (b. 1896)
January 27 – Léo Collard, Belgian Socialist politician (b. 1902)
January 29 – Lajos Korányi, Hungarian footballer (b. 1907)
January 31 – Cozy Cole, American jazz drummer (b. 1909)
Wanda Hendrix, American actress (b. 1928)
Geirr Tveitt, Norwegian composer (b. 1908)
Ernst Pepping, German composer (b. 1901)
February 2 – Hugh Joseph Addonizio, Italian-American politician and Mayor of Newark (b. 1914)
February 3 – Normand Poirier, French-American newspaper editor, journalist, and essayist (b. 1928)
February 6 – Frederica of Hanover, Queen Consort of the Hellenes and wife of King Paul of Greece (b. 1917)
February 7 – Hermann Esser, German journalist and editor of the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter (b. 1900)
Bill Haley, American musician (b. 1925)
Jack Z. Anderson, U.S. Representative from California (b. 1904)
February 10 – Hubert Shirley-Smith, British civil engineer (b. 1901)
February 12 – Bruce Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of North Cape, British admiral (b. 1888)
February 15 – Karl Richter, German conductor (b. 1926)
February 17 – David Garnett, British writer (b. 1892)
February 18 – John Knudsen Northrop, American airplane manufacturer (b. 1895)
February 20 – Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, French magazine editor and playboy (b. 1904)
Michael Maltese, American screenwriter (b. 1908)
Ilo Wallace, wife of Henry A. Wallace, Second Lady of the United States (b. 1888)
February 25 – Gunichi Mikawa, Japanese admiral (b. 1888)
Howard Hanson, American composer (b. 1896)
Roger Tonge, British actor (b. 1946)
February 27 – Jacob H. Gilbert, American politician (b. 1920)
March 4 – Torin Thatcher, American actor (b. 1905)
March 5 – Yip Harburg, American lyricist (b. 1896)
March 6 – George Geary, English cricketer (b. 1893)
Bosley Crowther, American film critic (b. 1905)
Kirill Kondrashin, Russian conductor (b. 1914)
Red Pollard, Jockey (b. 1909)
Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling, American tennis champion (b. 1908)
March 8 – Joseph Henry Woodger, British theoretical biologist (b. 1894)
March 9 – Max Delbrück, German biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1906)
March 15 – René Clair, French film director (b. 1898)
March 20 – Gerry Bertier, American college football player (b. 1953)
John S. McCain Jr., American admiral (b. 1911)
Gil Puyat, Filipino businessman and politician, Senator of the Philippines, and Senate President (b. 1907)
Claude Auchinleck, British field marshal (b. 1884)
Beatrice Tinsley, English astronomer (b. 1941)
Sherman Edwards, American songwriter (b. 1919)
Douglas Lowe, British Olympic athlete (b. 1902)
DeWitt Wallace, American magazine publisher (b. 1889)
March 31 – Frank Tieri, American gangster (b. 1904)
April 3 – Juan Trippe, Airline entrepreneur (b. 1899)
Maurice Zbriger, Canadian violinist, composer and conductor (b. 1896)
Bob Hite, American musician (b. 1943)
April 7 – Norman Taurog, American film director (b. 1899)
April 8 – Omar N. Bradley, US Army General (b. 1893)
April 12 – Joe Louis, American boxer (b. 1914)
April 13 – Prince Yasuhiko Asaka of Japan (b. 1887)
April 15 – John Thach, American naval aviator and admiral (b. 1905)
April 18 – James H. Schmitz, German-born writer (b. 1911)
Jim Davis, American actor (b. 1909)
Madge Evans, American actress (b. 1909)
April 27 – John Aspinwall Roosevelt, American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1916)
April 28 – Cliff Battles, American football player (Boston Redskins) and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1910)
May 5 – Bobby Sands, Irish republican hunger striker (b. 1954)
May 6 – Frank O'Grady, Australian public servant (b. 1900)
May 7 – Hiromichi Yahara, Imperial Japanese Army officer (b. 1902)
May 8 – Uri Zvi Greenberg, Israeli poet and journalist (b. 1896)
Nelson Algren, American author (b. 1909)
Ralph Allen, English footballer (b. 1906)
Margaret Lindsay, American actress (b. 1910)
Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
Bob Marley, Jamaican rock musician and guitarist (The Wailers) (b. 1945)
May 17 – Hugo Friedhofer, German-American film composer (b. 1901)
Eleonore Baur, German Nazi and only woman to participate in Munich Beer Hall Putsch (b. 1885)
Arthur O'Connell, American actor (b. 1908)
William Saroyan, American author (b. 1908)
May 23 – George Jessel, American actor (b. 1898)
Jaime Roldós Aguilera, President of Ecuador (1979-1981) (b. 1940)
A. Thiagarajah, Sri Lankan Tamil teacher and politician (b. 1916)
May 25 – Rosa Ponselle, American soprano (b. 1897)
John Bryan Ward-Perkins, British archaeologist (b. 1912)
Mary Lou Williams, American jazz pianist (b. 1910)
May 29 – Soong Ching-ling, Head of State of the People's Republic of China (b. 1893)
May 30 – Don Ashby, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1955)
May 31 – Giuseppe Pella, Italian politician, 31st Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1902)
June 1 – Carl Vinson, U.S. Congressman (b. 1883)
June 2 – Rino Gaetano, Italian singer-songwriter (b. 1950)
June 9 – Allen Ludden, American television game show host (b. 1917)
Jenny Maxwell, American actress (b. 1941)
Phelps Phelps, 38th Governor of American Samoa and United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic (d. 1897)
June 13 – George Walsh, American actor (b. 1889)
Sir Richard O'Connor, British general (b. 1889)
Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (b. 1889)
June 18 – Pamela Hansford Johnson, English poet, novelist, playwright, literary and social critic (b. 1912)
Anya Phillips, American co-founder of New York City's Mudd Club (b. 1955)
Lotte Reiniger, German-born silhouette animator (b. 1899)
June 22 – Lola Lane, American actress and singer (b. 1906)
June 23 – Zarah Leander, Swedish actress and singer (b. 1907)
Mohammad Beheshti, Chief Justice of Iran (b. 1928)
Terry Fox, Canadian athlete and cancer activist (b. 1958)
July 1 – Marcel Breuer, Hungarian-American architect (b. 1902)
July 3 – Ross Martin, American actor (b. 1920)
Joe McDonnell, Irish republican hunger striker (b. 1951)
Isaac Soyer, American painter (b. 1902)
July 10 – Ken Rex McElroy, American murder victim (b. 1934)
July 16 – Harry Chapin, American singer and songwriter (b. 1942)
Adam Walsh, American murder victim, inspired Code Adam (b. 1974)
William Wyler, American movie director (b. 1902)
July 29 – Robert Moses, American urban planner (b. 1888)
July 31 – Omar Torrijos, Panamanian leader (b. 1929)
August 1 – Paddy Chayefsky, American screenwriter (b. 1923)
Delfo Cabrera, Argentine athlete (b. 1919)
Stefanie Clausen, Danish diver (b. 1900)
August 4 – Melvyn Douglas, American actor (b. 1901)
August 14 – Karl Böhm, Austrian conductor (b. 1894)
August 15 – Carol Ryrie Brink, American author (b. 1895)
August 18 – Anita Loos, American screenwriter (b. 1888)
August 19 – Jessie Matthews, English actress (b. 1907)
August 26 – Kelly Keen, coyote victim (b. 1978)
August 27 – Valeri Kharlamov, Soviet ice hockey player (b. 1948)
August 29 – Lowell Thomas, American writer (b. 1892)
August 30 – Vera-Ellen, American actress and dancer (b. 1921)
Ann Harding, American actress (b. 1902)
Albert Speer, German Nazi architect and war minister (b. 1905)
September 2 – Enid Lyons, Australia politician (b. 1897)
September 3 – Alec Waugh, British novelist (b. 1898)
September 6 – Christy Brown, Irish author, poet, and artist (b. 1932)
September 7 – Edwin Albert Link, American pioneer in aviation, underwater archaeology, and submersibles, and inventor of aeronautical, navigation, and oceanographic equipment (b. 1904)
September 8 – Hideki Yukawa, Japanese physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1907)
Jacques Lacan, French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist (b. 1901)
Ricardo Balbín, Argentine politician, leader of the Radical Civic Union (UCR) (b. 1904)
Sir Robert (Bob) Askin, Premier of New South Wales (b. 1907)
September 11 – Frank McHugh, American actor (b. 1898)
September 12 – Eugenio Montale, Italian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1896)
September 14 – Charles L. Melson, American admiral (b. 1904)
Rafael Méndez, Mexican-born trumpet virtuoso (b. 1906)
Harold Bennett, British actor (b. 1899)
September 21 – Nigel Patrick, English actor (b. 1912)
September 22 – Harry Warren, American songwriter (b. 1893)
September 23 – Chief Dan George, Canadian First Nations actor (b. 1899)
September 24 – Patsy Kelly, American actress (b. 1910)
September 27 – Robert Montgomery, American actor (b. 1904)
Sir Edward Boyle, Baron Boyle of Handsworth, British Conservative cabinet minister (b. 1923)
Rómulo Betancourt, two-term President of Venezuela (b. 1908)
September 29 – Bill Shankly, British football manager (b. 1913)
Harry Golden, American journalist (b. 1902)
Hazel Scott, American jazz singer and pianist (b. 1920)
October 4 – Freddie Lindstrom, American baseball player (New York Giants) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1905)
October 5 – Gloria Grahame, American actress (b. 1923)
October 6 – Anwar Sadat, 3rd President of Egypt, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (assassinated) (b. 1918)
Antonio Berni, Argentine painter (b. 1905)
Nils Asther, Danish-born actor (b. 1897)
Stanley Clements, American actor (b. 1926)
Moshe Dayan, Israeli general (b. 1915)
October 20 – Mary Coyle Chase, American playwright (b. 1906)
October 23 – Reg Butler, English sculptor (b. 1913)
October 24 – Edith Head, American costume designer (b. 1897)
October 29 – Georges Brassens, French singer and songwriter (b. 1921)
November 3 – Jean Eustache, French film director (b. 1938)
November 7 – Will Durant, American philosopher and writer (b. 1885)
November 10 – Abel Gance, French film director (b. 1889)
November 12 – William Holden, American actor (b. 1918)
November 13 – Gerhard Marcks, German sculptor (b. 1889)
November 14 – Robert Bradford, Northern Irish footballer and politician (b. 1941)
William O. Gallery, American admiral (b. 1904)
Walter Heitler, German physicist (b. 1904)
Enid Markey, American actress (b. 1894)
Khawar Rizvi, Pakistani poet and scholar (b. 1938)
November 17 – Wilhelm Pelikan, Austrian chemist (b. 1893)
Harry von Zell, American actor (b. 1906)
Ejner Federspiel, Danish actor (b. 1896)
Hans Adolf Krebs, German physician and biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1900)
Ilya Bolotowsky, Russian-American painter (b. 1907)
November 25 – Jack Albertson, American actor (b. 1907)
Max Euwe, Dutch chess grandmaster (b. 1901)
Regino Sainz de la Maza, Spanish classical guitarist (b. 1896)
November 27 – Lotte Lenya, Austrian singer and actress (b. 1898)
November 29 – Natalie Wood, American actress (b. 1938)
December 2 – Wallace Harrison, American architect (b. 1895)
December 3 – Walter Knott, American farmer and theme park creator (b. 1889)
December 6 – Harry Harlow, American psychologist (b. 1905)
December 7 – William Edmunds, Italian stage and screen character actor (b. 1886)
December 8 – Ferruccio Parri, 29th Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1905)
December 13 – Cornelius Cardew, English composer (b. 1936)
Catherine T. MacArthur, American philanthropist (b. 1909)
Karl Struss, American cinematographer (b. 1886)
December 17 – Mehmet Shehu, Prime Minister of Albania (b. 1913)
December 18 – Enrique Hertzog, Bolvian politician, 49th President of Bolivia (b. 1896)
Luther H. Evans, American political scientist and librarian, 3rd Director General of the UNESCO (b. 1902)
Reginald Miles Ansett, Australian businessman and aviator (b. 1909)
December 26 – Suat Hayri Urguplu, Turkish politician, 11th Prime Minister of Turkey (b. 1903)
December 27 – Hoagy Carmichael, American jazz composer (b. 1899)
Allan Dwan, Canadian-born American film director (b. 1885)
Bram van Velde, Dutch painter (b. 1895)
December 30 – Alfie Anido, Filipino actor (b. 1959)
Physics – Nicolaas Bloembergen, Arthur Leonard Schawlow, Kai Siegbahn
Chemistry – Kenichi Fukui, Roald Hoffmann
Medicine – Roger Wolcott Sperry, David H. Hubel, Torsten Wiesel
Literature – Elias Canetti
Peace – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences – James Tobin
Protocol of Accession
1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1981st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 981st year of the 2nd millennium, the 81st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1980s decade.