- February 11: Alec Cairncross, chancellor of Glasgow University.
- May 8: Robert Johnson, Blues guitarist and singer.
- May 20: Annie M. G. Schmidt, Dutch children books writer
- July 21: Marshall McLuhan (author)
- December 11: Naguib Mahfouz, Nobel prize-winning Egyptian novelist.
- March 25: Fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Lowell, Massachusetts
- December 14: Roald Amundsen's expedition reaches the South Pole
- End of Qing Dynasty in China.
- October 10: Birth of Republic of China.