International Year for a Culture of Peace
- US - In a highly controversial election, George W. Bush defeats Al Gore to become the 43rd President of the United States of America.
- Mexico - Vicente Fox becomes the first opposition President to take power since Francisco I. Madero in 1911. He won the Presidency as candidate of the rightist PAN (National Action Party).
- July 25 - The Concorde airliner crashes.
- September 28 - Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount, which provokes collisions between Palestinians and Israeli safety forces
- The last wholly Swedish-owned arms manufacturer, Bofors, is sold to American arms manufacturer United Defence.
- January 19 - Bettino Craxi, 65, Italian prime minister (1983-1987)
- February 11 - Roger Vadim, 72, French movie director
- February 12 - Charles Schultz, 77, creator of the Peanuts comic strip
- February 12 - Screamin' Jay Hawkins, 70, American rock artist
- February 19 - Friedensreich Hundertwasser, 71, Austrian artist
- March 27 - Ian Dury, 57, English rock musician
- March 28 - Anthony Powell, British novelist
- April 6 - Habib Bourguiba, president of Tunisia (1957-1997)
- April 13 - Giorgio Bassani, 84, Italian writer (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis)
- May 21 - Sir John Gielgud, 96, British actor
- June 10 - Hafez al-Assad, 69, president of Syria (1971-2000)
- July 1 - Walter Matthau, 79, American actor
- August 5 - Sir Alec Guinness, 86, British actor
- August 25 - Carl Barks, 99, illustrator of Donald Duck
- September 28 - Pierre Trudeau, 80, prime minister of Canada (1968-1979 and 1980-1984)
- October 11 - Donald Dewar, main author of the Scotland Act and initial First Minister of the Scottish Parliament
- The latest Joel and Ethan Coen film, O Brother, Where Art Thou was released to much criticial acclaim.
- Martial arts extravaganza, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon leaped and flew itself onto the publics imagination.
- And to spite all the critics, the fairy tale adventure based on the works of Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas grossed $260 million at the box office.
- Celebrity News - Former child star Gary Coleman is charged with assaulting a young female bus driver in a California shopping mall
- The New Year, people, companies, countries and much of the world was fearing the worst, planes falling out of the sky, electricity grids and essential services collapsing. What people feared was not the apocalypse but the Y2K bug - a computer problem that many feared would had seen many computers not recognising the new year. The more important problem for computer-related companies this year, however, was the dotcom death that started in February and lasted well into 2001.
- Physics - Zhores I Alferov, Herbert Kroemer, Jack S Kilby
- Chemistry - Alan J Heeger, Alan G MacDiarmid, Hideki Shirakawa
- Medicine - Arvid Carlsson, Paul Greengard, Eric R Kandel
- Literature -Gao Xingjian
- Peace - Kim Dae Jung
- Economics- James Heckman, Daniel McFadden