- February 11 - Philip Anglim, actor.
- February 11 - Stephen D Thorne, astronaut.
- February 11 - Alan Rubin music figure.
- Richard Stallman, Free software proponent
- Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister
- November 8 - John van Melle, South African author
- November 9 - Dylan Thomas, poet and author
- Joseph Stalin, Soviet leader
- February 11 - President Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Rosenberg couple.
- February 11 - USSR breaks diplomatic relations with Israel.
- Change of US presidency from Harry S Truman (1945-1953) to Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
- Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing perform the first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest.
- Physics - Frits (Frederik) Zernike
- Chemistry - Hermann Staudinger
- Medicine - Hans Adolf Krebs, Fritz Albert Lipmann
- Literature - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
- Peace - George Catlett Marshall