- February 11 - Ray Danton, US actor/director.
- April 6 - Isaac Asimov, author
- April 23 - Satyajit Ray, Indian filmmaker
- February 11 - F-16 jet crashes into a residential district of Hengelo, the Netherlands. No causalties are reported.
- February 11 - Michael Johnson runs an indoor world record over 400 meters.
- October 24 - The Toronto Blue Jays become the first non-US team to win the World Series
- Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain
- December 8 - Last bast fired in Falu Copper Mine in Sweden. The end of a millennium of continous operation.
- Physics - Georges Charpak
- Chemistry - Rudolph A Marcus
- Medicine - Edmond H Fischer, Edwin G Krebs
- Literature - Derek Walcott
- Peace - Rigoberta Menchu Tum
- Economics - Gary Becker