- February 11 - Anthony M Kennedy is appointed to the United States Supreme Court.
- Akira, Anime released.
- Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea
- November 2 - The Morris Worm is unleashed on the Internet
- Physics - Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, Jack Steinberger
- Chemistry - Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber, Hartmut Michel
- Medicine - Sir James W Black, Gertrude B Elion, George H Hitchings
- Literature - Naguib Mahfouz
- Peace - The United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces, New York.
- Economics - Maurice Allais