- February 11 - D'Angelo, singer.
- April 28 - Penelope Cruz, actress
- July 14 - Princess Victoria Bernadotte, Crown Princess of Sweden
- February 5 - Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of publisher Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army
- April 25 - Portuguese democratic revolution.
- July 30 - The House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment charging President Richard M. Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee. He announces he will resign the next day, the first president to do so. Vice President Gerald R. Ford is sworn in as 38th President of the United States on August 9.
- The Milgram experiment first described by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in his 1974 book Obedience to Authority; An Experimental View.
- West Germany wins Football World Cup on home ground
- Ethiopian Emperor Haile Sellassie ousted in a coup by the Derg.
- September 8 - President Gerald Ford grants a "full, free, and absolute pardon" to ex-president Nixon.
- Physics - Sir Martin Ryle, Antony Hewish
- Chemistry - Paul J Flory
- Medicine - Albert Claude, Christian de Duve, George E Palade
- Literature - Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
- Peace - Séan Mac Bride Eisaku Sato
- Economics - Gunnar Myrdal, Friedrich von Hayek