International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
- February 11 - Amelia Rosselli, poet.
- February 11 - Bob Shaw, science fiction writer.
- February 11 - Cyril Poole, English cricket player.
- February 11 - Kebby Musokotwane, prime minister of Zambia (1985-1989).
- February 11 - Phil Regan, actor.
- December 20 - Carl Sagan - US astronomer
- May 31 - Paul Peter Piech, artist
- Thomas Kuhn, philosopher of science
- ID Software releases the first person shooter computer game, Quake
- Martina Hingis youngest person in history (age 16) to win at Wimbledon(Ladies Doubles event)
- Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta Georgia, USA
- May 23 - Swede Göran Kropp reaches Mount Everest summit alone without oxygen after having bicycled there from Sweden.
- Physics - David M. Lee, - Douglas D. Osheroff, Robert C. Richardson
- Chemistry - Robert Curl, Sir Harold Kroto, Richard Smalley
- Medicine - Peter C Doherty, Rolf M Zinkernagel
- Literature - Wislawa Szymborska
- Peace - Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta
- Economics - James Mirrlees, William Vickrey