- January 17 - King Olav V
- February 11 - Oscar Nitzchke, German architect.
- September 28 - Miles Davis, musician.
- January 16 - Operation Desert Storm begins
- February 11 - UNPO, the Unrepresented Nations & People Organization forms in the Hague, Netherlands.
- Linus Torvalds releases the Linux kernel
- Physics - Pierre-Gilles de Gennes
- Chemistry - Richard R Ernst
- Medicine - Erwin Neher, Bert Sakmann
- Literature - Nadine Gordimer
- Peace - Aung San Suu Kyi
- Economics - Ronald Coase