|Centuries:||19th century - 20th century - 21st century|
|Decades:|| 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s
|Years:||1938 1939 1940 - 1941 - 1942 1943 1944|
|1941 by topic:|
| Architecture - Art - Film - Literature |
Music (Country) - Television
|Science and technology|
| Archaeology - Aviation |
Meteorology - Rail transport - Science
| Australia - Canada - India - Ireland|
Malaysia - New Zealand - Singapore - South Africa - Soviet Union - UK - Wales - Zimbabwe
| Awards - Sport - Law - State leaders|
Sovereign states - Religious leaders
|Birth and death categories|
|Births - Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments - Disestablishments|
- January 4 - The short subject Elmer's Pet Rabbit is released, marking the second appearance of Bugs Bunny, and also the first to have his name on a title card.
- January 6 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivers his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.
- January 6 - Keel of USS Missouri (BB-63) is laid at New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn.
- January 8 - Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell the founder of Scouting, dies.
- January 10 - Lend-Lease is introduced into the U.S. Congress.
- January 19 - British troops attack Italian-held Eritrea.
- January 20 - Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes swears in US. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
for a third term. This is Charles Evans Hughes last swearing-in of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- January 21 - WWII: Australian and British forces attack Tobruk, Libya.
- January 22 - WWII: British troops capture Tobruk from the Italians.
- January 23 - Aviator Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
- February 3 - WWII: The Nazis forcibly restore Pierre Laval to office in occupied Vichy, France.
- February 4 - WWII: The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
- February 11 - WWII: Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli.
- February 19 - WWII: The start of the Three Nights' Blitz over Swansea, South Wales. Over these three nights of intensive bombing, which lasted a total of 13 hours and 48 minutes, Swansea town centre was almost completely obliterated by the 896 High Explosive bombs employed by the Luftwaffe. A total of 397 casualties and 230 deaths were reported. The Three nights Blitz ended in the early hours of February 22.
- February 23: Glenn T. Seaborg isolates and discovers plutonium.
- March - Captain America Comics #1 issues the first Captain America & Bucky comic.
- March 1 - WWII: Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact thus joining the Axis powers.
- March 1 - W47NV begins operations in Nashville, Tennessee becoming the first FM radio station.
- March 1 - Arthur L. Bristol becomes Rear Admiral for the U.S. Navy's Support Force, Atlantic Fleet
- March 4 - WWII: British Commandos carry out a successful raid on the Lofoten Islands off the north coast of Norway.
- March 11 - WWII: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.
- March 11 - Kinsmen Club of Brantford was chartered.
- March 17 - In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- March 17 - British Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin, calls for women to fill vital jobs
- March 22 - Washington's Grand Coulee Dam begins to generate electricity.
- March 25 - WWII: Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Vienna joins the Axis powers
- March 27 - WWII: Anti-Axis coup d'etat in Yugoslavia - Prince Paul exiled; 17-year-old King Peter II assumes power.
- March 27 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor.
- March 29 - WWII: Battle of Cape Matapan - Off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean, British naval forces defeat those of Italy sinking five warships. Battle started on March 27.
- March 30 - All German, Italian, and Danish ships anchored in United States waters are taken into "protective custody".
- April - All-American Comics #25 issues the first Doctor Mid-Nite comic.
- April - Adventure Comics #61 issues the first Starman comic.
- April 6 - WWII: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
- April 12 - WWII: German troops enter Belgrade.
- April 13 - Soviet Union and Japan sign a neutrality pact.
- April 17 - WWII: Yugoslav Royal Army capitulates.
- April 18 - WWII: Prime Minister of Greece Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide as German troops approach Athens.
- April 21 - WWII: Greece capitulates. Commonwealth troops and some elements of the Greek Army withdraw to Crete.
- April 23 - America First Committee holds its first mass rally in New York City with Charles Lindbergh as keynote speaker.
- April 25 - Franklin D. Roosevelt, at his regular press conference, criticizes Charles Lindbergh by comparing him to the Copperheads of the Civil War period. In response, Lindbergh resigns his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve on April 28.
- April 27 - WWII: German troops enter Athens.
- May 1 - Breakfast cereal Cheerios is introduced as CheeriOats by General Mills
- May 1 - Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane premieres in New York City
- May 1 - The first Defense Bonds and Defense Savings Stamps go on sale in the United States to help fund the greatly increased production of military equipment.
- May 5 - Emperor Haile Selassie enters Addis Ababa, which had been liberated from Italian forces; this date has been since commemorated as Liberation Day in Ethiopia.
- May 6 - At California's March Field, Bob Hope performs his first USO Show.
- May 9 - WWII: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the British Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
- May 10 - WWII: The United Kingdom's House of Commons is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.
- May 10 - WWII: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland claiming to be on a peace mission.
- May 12 - Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer in Berlin.
- May 15 - WWII: First British jet aircraft, the Gloster E.28/39, is flown.
- May 20 - WWII: Battle of Crete - Germany launches airborne invasion of Crete.
- May 21 - WWII: 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor becomes the first United States ship sunk by a German U-boat.
- May 24 - WWII: In the North Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck sinks the HMS Hood killing all but three crewman on what was the pride of the Royal Navy.
- May 24 - Bob Dylan was born
- May 26 - WWII: In the North Atlantic, Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS Ark Royal fatally cripple the German battleship Bismarck in torpedo attack.
- May 27 - WWII: President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency."
- May 27 - WWII: German battleship Bismarck is sunk in North Atlantic killing 2,300.
- June 1 - WWII: Allies evacuate Crete.
- June 4 - Britain invades Iraq, the pro-Axis government there is overthrown.
- June 4 - The ex-kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II, dies in exile at Doorn, Netherlands.
- June 8 - WWII: Allies invade Syria and Lebanon.
- June 9 - WWII: Finland initiates mobilization and puts some units under German command.
- June 13 - WWII: TASS, the official Soviet news agency, denies reports of tension between Germany and the Soviet Union.
- June 14 - Mass deportations by Soviet Union authorities take place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
- June 14 - All German and Italian assets in the United States are frozen.
- June 16 - All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.
- June 22 - WWII: Germany attacks the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa
- June 22 - Italy and Romania declare war on the Soviet Union.
- June 22 - Winston Churchill promises all possible British assistance to the Soviet Union in a worldwide broadcast: "Any man or state who fights against Nazidom will have our aid. Any man or state who marches with Hitler is our foe."
- June 22 - First anti-fascist armed unit in occupied Europe founded by Croatian partisans near Sisak, Croatia.
- June 23 - Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union.
- June 25 - WWII: Finland attacks the Soviet Union to seek the opportunity of revenge in the Continuation War.
- June 28 - Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.
- July 4 - Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers, committed by German troops in captured Polish city of Lwów.
- July 5 - WWII: German troops reach the Dnieper River.
- July 5-19 - War between Peru and Ecuador
- July 7 - WWII: American forces take over the defense of Iceland from the British
- July 7 - WWII: Serbia starts the first popular uprising in Europe against the Axis Powers.
- July 13 - World War II - Montenegro starts the second popular uprising in Europe against the Axis Powers.
- July 19 - WWII: A BBC broadcast by "Colonel Britton" calls on the people of Occupied Europe to resist the Nazis under the slogan "V for Victory".
- July 26 - WWII: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
- July 26 - WWII: General Douglas MacArthur named commander of all U.S. forces in the Philippines; Philippines Army ordered nationalized by President Roosevelt.
- July 30 - WWII: U.S. gunboat Tutuila attacked by Japanese aircraft while anchored in the Yangtze River at Chungking. Japan apologizes for the incident the following day.
- July 31 - Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS general Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."
- August - Formation of the Political Warfare Executive in the United Kingdom
- August 1 - The first jeep is produced
- August 6 - 6-year-old Elaine Esposito goes to an appendix operation in Florida and lapses into a coma. She dies 1978, still in coma.
- August 9 - Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at Argentia, Newfoundland. The Atlantic Charter is created as a result.
- August 12 - By one vote (203-202), the U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation extending the draft period for selectees and the National Guard from one year to 30 months.
- August 18 - Adolf Hitler orders a temporary halt to Nazi Germany's systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and handicapped due to protests. However, graduates of the T-4 Euthanasia Program were then transferred to concentration camps, where they continued in their trade.
- August 22 - WWII: France - German Occupation Authority announces that anyone found either working for or aiding the Free French will be sentenced to death.
- August 25 - WWII: Operation Countenance - United Kingdom and Soviet forces invade Iran.
- August 27 - WWII: France - Pierre Laval is shot in an assassination attempt at Versailles.
- August 28 - WWII: Soviets announce the destruction of massive Dnieper River dam at Zaporozhye to prevent its capture by the Germans.
- August 31 - The Great Gildersleeve debuts on NBC Radio.
- September 4 - WWII: The USS Greer becomes the first United States ship fired upon by a German submarine in the war, even though the United States is a neutral power. Tension heightens between the two nations as a result.
- September 6 - Holocaust: The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word "Jew" inscribed, is extended to all Jews over the age of 6 in German-occupied areas.
- September 8 - WWII: Siege of Leningrad begins - German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad. Stalin orders the Volga Deutsche deported to Siberia.
- September 11 - WWII: Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Navy to shoot on sight if any ship or convoy is threatened.
- September 11 - Charles Lindbergh, at an America First Committee rally in Des Moines, Iowa, accuses "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration" of leading the United States toward war. Widespread condemnation of Lindbergh follows.
- September 12 - WWII: First snowfall reported on Russian front.
- September 15 - self-government of Estonia, headed by Hjalmar Mäe, is appointed by German military administration.
- September 16 - Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran is forced to resign in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran under pressure from the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
- September 27 - The first Liberty Ship, the SS Patrick Henry, is launched at Baltimore, Maryland.
- October 2 - WWII: Operation Typhoon - Germany begins an all-out offensive against Moscow.
- October 7 - John Curtin becomes the 14th Prime Minister of Australia
- October 8 - WWII: In their invasion of the Soviet Union, Germany reaches the Sea of Azov with the capture of Mariupol.
- October 16 - WWII: Soviet Union government moves to Kuibyshev, but Stalin remains in Moscow.
- October 17 - WWII: The destroyer USS Kearney is torpedoed and damaged near Iceland, killing eleven sailors - the first American military casualties of the war.
- October 18 - General Hideki Tojo becomes the 40th Prime Minister of Japan.
- October 21 - WWII: Germans rampage in Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilians
- October 23 - Disney's Dumbo is released in U.S. Theaters.
- October 24 - Franz von Werra disappears during a flight over North Sea
- October 30 - WWII: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.
- October 31 - After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.
- October 31 - WWII: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors.
- November 6 - WWII: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule (the first time was earlier that year on July 2). He states that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, that the Germans have lost 4.5 million soldiers (a gross exaggeration) and that Soviet victory was near.
- November 7 - WWII: Soviet hospital ship Armenia sunk by German planes while evacuating refugees and wounded military and staff of several Crimea’s hospitals. It is estimated that over 5,000 people died in the sinking.
- November 10 - In a speech at the Mansion House in London, Winston Churchill promises, "...should the United States become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration will follow within the hour."
- November 12 - WWII: Battle of Moscow: Temperatures around Moscow drop to −12 °C and the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.
- November 13 - WWII: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is hit by German U-boat U-81
- November 14 - WWII: HMS Ark Royal capsizes and sinks, having been torpedoed by U 81.
- November 14 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Japanese diplomat Saburo Kurusu arrives in the United States to assist Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura in peace negotiations.
- November 17 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables the State Department that Japan had plans to launch an attack against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (his cable was ignored).
- November 19 - WWII: The Australian war cruiser HMAS Sydney sinks off the coast of Western Australia, killing 645 sailors.
- November 21 - The radio program King Biscuit Time is broadcast for the first time (it would later become the longest running daily radio broadcast in history and the most famous live blues radio program).
- November 24 - WWII: The United States grants Lend-Lease to the Free French.
- November 26 - US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States (this partly reversed a 1939 action by Roosevelt that changed the celebration of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November).
- November 26 - WWII: The Hull note ultimatum is delivered to Japan by the United States.
- November 26 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - A fleet of six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo leaves Hitokapu Bay for Pearl Harbor under strict radio silence.
- November 27 - A group of young men stop traffic on highway US 99 south of Yreka, California, handing out fliers proclaiming the establishment of the State of Jefferson.
- November 27 - WWII: Battle of Moscow - Germans reach their closest approach to Moscow. They are subsequently frozen by cold weather and attacks by the Soviets.
- November 27 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - All U.S. military forces in Asia and the Pacific are placed on war alert.
- December - All Star Comics #8 issues the first Wonder Woman comic.
- December 1 - WWII: Former mayor of New York City, Fiorello LaGuardia, and the director of the Office of Civilian Defense, sign an order creating the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (in April 1943 the CAP was placed under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Air Forces).
- December 1 - WWII: State of emergency declared in Malaya and the Straits Settlements.
- December 2 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - The code message "Climb Mount Niitaka" is transmitted to the Japanese task force, indicating that negotiations have broken down and that the attack is to be carried out according to plan.
- December 4 - State of Jefferson declared in Yreka, California, with judge John Childs as a governor
- December 6 - WWII: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Franklin D. Roosevelt makes a personal peace appeal to Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
- December 7, December 8 (in Japan standard time) - Japanese Navy launches a surprise attack consisting of two full regiments on the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, thus drawing the United States into World War II.
- December 8 - WWII: The United States officially declares war on Japan.
- December 8 - WWII: China officially declares war on Japan
- December 8 - WWII: The Netherlands declares war on Japan
- December 8 - WWII: Japan launches invasions in Hong Kong, Malaya, Manila, and Singapore.
- December 10 - WWII: The British battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Japanese aircraft in the South China Sea north of Singapore.
- December 11 - WWII: Germany declares war on the United States.
- December 11 - WWII: American forces repel a Japanese landing attempt at Wake Island.
- December 12 - Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States. India declares war on Japan. United States seizes French ship Normandie.
- December 13 - Sweden's low temperature record of -53° C was set in a village within Vilhelmina Municipality.
- December 19 - WWII: Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army
- December 23 - WWII: A second Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island is successful, and the American garrison surrenders after hours of fighting.
- December 25 - WWII: British and Canadians are defeated by the Japanese at Hong Kong.
- December 26 - WWII: Winston Churchill becomes the first British Prime Minister to address a Joint session of the U.S. Congress
- December 27 - WWII: British Commandos raid the Norwegian port of Vaagso, causing Hitler to reinforce the garrison and defenses, drawing vital troops away from other areas.
- December 28 - WWII: starts the Operation Anthropoid (the assassination of Heydrich in Prague).
- John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry developed the Atanasoff-Berry Computer.
- Ives and Stilwell prove that ions radiate at frequencies affected by their motion.
- In Sweden, Victor Hasselblad forms the Hasselblad camera company.
- The Pinnacle Commune, a Rastafarian community, is destroyed by Jamaican authorities
- Indochina Communist party, led by Ho Chi Minh, combines with Nationalist party to form the Vietminh.
- Meet John Doe makes its film debut.
- Berlin Diary by William L. Shirer is published.
- The Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) is created and given jurisdiction over the “regulation of communications and electronic intelligence”.
- Picasso paints Dora Maar au Chat
- January 3 - Van Dyke Parks, American composer, producer, and musician
- January 4 - John Bennett Perry, American actor
- January 5 - Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese filmmaker
- January 5 - Kevin Keelan, English footballer
- January 7 - Iona Brown, British violinist and conductor (d. 2004)
- January 7 - John E. Walker, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- January 8 - Graham Chapman, British comedian (d. 1989)
- January 9 - Joan Baez, American singer and activitist
- January 12 - Long John Baldry, British singer (d. 2005)
- January 14 - Faye Dunaway, American actress
- January 14 - Milan Kučan, Slovenian politician and statesman
- January 15 - Captain Beefheart, American singer
- January 18 - David Ruffin, American singer (d. 1991)
- January 21 - Plácido Domingo, Spanish-born tenor
- January 21 - Richie Havens, American musician
- January 24 - Neil Diamond, American singer and songwriter
- January 24 - Aaron Neville, American singer
- January 26 - Scott Glenn, American actor
- January 26 - Henry Jaglom, English film director
- January 27 - Beatrice Tinsley, English astronomer
- January 30 - Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States
- January 30 - Tineke Lagerberg, Dutch swimmer
- January 31 - Dick Gephardt, American politician
- February 1 - Jerry Spinelli, American children's author
- February 5 - David Selby, American actor
- February 5 - Kaspar Villiger, Swiss Federal Councilor
- February 6 - Howard Phillips, American politician
- February 8 - Nick Nolte, American actor
- February 10 - Michael Apted, English film director
- February 13 - Sigmar Polke, German painter
- February 16 - Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea
- February 19 - David Gross, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- February 20 - Buffy Sainte-Marie, American singer
- February 26 - Tony Ray-Jones, British photographer (d. 1972)
- February 27 - Paddy Ashdown, British politician
- March 4 - Adrian Lyne, English film director
- March 4 - John Aprea, American actor
- March 5 - Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgian chess player
- March 6 - Willie Stargell, baseball player (d. 2001)
- March 14 - Wolfgang Petersen, German film director
- March 15 - Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys)
- March 16 - Robert Guéï, military ruler of Côte d'Ivoire (d. 2002)
- March 16 - Chuck Woolery, American game show host
- March 18 - Wilson Pickett, American singer (d. 2006)
- March 23 - Jim Trelease, American educator and author
- March 26 - Richard Dawkins, British scientist
- March 28 - Jim Turner, American football player
- March 29 - Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr., American astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- March 30 - Wasim Sajjad, President of Pakistan
- April 3 - Philippe Wynne, American musician (d. 1984)
- April 8 - Peggy Lennon, American singer (The Lennon Sisters)
- April 12 - Bobby Moore, English football player and World Cup winning captain (d. 1993)
- April 13 - Michael Stuart Brown, American geneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- April 14 - Julie Christie, British actress
- April 14 - Pete Rose, baseball player
- April 23 - Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland
- April 23 - Ed Stewart, English disc jockey
- April 24 - John Williams, Australian guitarist
- April 27 - Lee Roy Jordan, American football player
- April 28 - Ann-Margret, Swedish-born actress
- April 28 - K. Barry Sharpless, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
- April 28 - Iryna Zhylenko, Ukrainian poet
- May 5 - Alexander Ragulin, Russian hockey player (d. 2004)
- May 13 - Senta Berger, Swedish actress
- May 13 - Ritchie Valens, American singer (d. 1959)
- May 15 - K.T. Oslin, American musician
- May 19 - Bobby Burgess, American dancer and singer
- May 19 - Nora Ephron, American film, producer, director, and screenwriter
- May 20 - Goh Chok Tong, Prime Minister of Singapore
- May 22 - Paul Winfield, American actor (d. 2004)
- May 24 - Bob Dylan, American poet and musician
- May 31 - Louis J. Ignarro, American pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- June 5 - Martha Argerich, Argentine pianist
- June 5 - Spalding Gray, American actor and screenwriter (d. 2004)
- June 6 - Neal Adams, American comic book artist
- June 8 - Robert Bradford, Irish footballer and politician (d. 1981)
- June 8 - Fuzzy Haskins, American musician (P-Funk)
- June 10 - Mickey Jones, American actor and musician
- June 21 - Joe Flaherty, American-Canadian actor
- June 22 - Michael Lerner, American actor
- June 24 - Bill Reardon, American politician and educator
- June 27 - Krzysztof Kieślowski, Polish film director (d. 1996)
- June 28 - Joseph Goguen, American computer scientist (d. 2006)
- July 1 - Alfred G. Gilman, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- July 1 - Myron Scholes, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
- July 11 - Tommy Vance, English disc jockey (d. 2005)
- July 14 - Maulana Karenga, American author and activist
- July 14 - Andreas Khol, Austrian politician
- July 19 - Vikki Carr, American singer
- July 27 - Bill Baxley, Alabama politician
- July 28 - Riccardo Muti, Italian conductor
- July 29 - David Warner, English actor
- July 30 - Paul Anka, Canadian-American singer and songwriter
- July 31 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
- August 3 - Martha Stewart, American television and magazine personality
- August 6 - Lyle Berman, American poker player
- August 14 - Connie Smith, American singer
- August 20 - Slobodan Milošević, President of Serbia (d. 2006)
- August 22 - Bill Parcells, American football coach
- August 28 - Joseph Shabalala, South African musician (Ladysmith Black Mambazo)
- September 2 - David Bale, South African-born activist (d. 2003)
- September 4 - Sushilkumar Shinde, Indian politician
- September 9 - Otis Redding, American musician (d. 1967)
- September 9 - Dennis Ritchie, American computer scientist
- September 10 - Christopher Hogwood, English conductor
- September 10 - Gunpei Yokoi, Japanese computer game producer (d. 1997)
- September 14 - Alberto Naranjo, Venezuelan musician
- September 15 - George Saimes, American football player
- September 15 - Mirosław Hermaszewski, First Polish Cosmonaut in Space
- September 17 - Bob Matsui, U.S. Congressman from California (d. 2005)
- September 19 - Cass Elliott, American singer (d. 1974)
- September 24 - Guy Hovis, American singer
- October 4 - Jackie Collins, British writer
- October 4 - Anne Rice, American writer
- October 5 - Eduardo Duhalde, President of Argentina
- October 8 - Jesse Jackson, American clergyman and civil rights activist
- October 10 - Peter Coyote, American actor
- October 13 - Paul Simon, American singer and composer
- October 16 - Tim McCarver, baseball commentator
- October 20 - Anneke Wills, British actress
- October 25 - Helen Reddy, Australian singer and actress
- October 25 - Anne Tyler, American novelist
- October 28 - John Hallam, Irish actor
- October 30 - Theodor W. Hänsch, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
- November 5 - Art Garfunkel, American singer.
- November 6 - Doug Sahm, American musician (d. 1999)
- November 10 - Kyu Sakamoto, Japanese singer and actor (d. 1985)
- November 18 - David Hemmings, English actor (d. 2003)
- November 26 - G. Alan Marlatt, American psychologist
- November 27 - Eddie Rabbitt, American musician (d. 1998)
- November 29 - Bill Freehan, baseball player
- December 9 - Beau Bridges, American actor
- December 10 - Colin Kelly, American airman
- December 13 - John Davidson, American singer and actor
- December 18 - Prince William of Gloucester
- December 23 - Tim Hardin, American musician (d. 1980)
- December 24 - John Levene, British actor
- December 30 - Mel Renfro, American football player
- December 31 - Sir Alex Ferguson, Manager of Manchester United
- Thom Bell, American record producer
- T S Krishnamurthy, Chief Election Commissioner of India
- Derek Mahon, Irish poet
- Peter Sarstedt, English singer and songwriter
- January 4 - Henri Bergson, French philiosopher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (b. 1859)
- January 5 - Amy Johnson, English aviator (b. 1903)
- January 8 - Lord Robert Baden-Powell, English soldier and founder of the Boy Scouts (b. 1847)
- January 10 - Frank Bridge, English composer (b. 1879)
- January 10 - Sir John Lavery, Irish artist (b. 1856)
- January 10 - Joe Penner, American comedian and actor
- January 13 - James Joyce, Irish writer (b. 1882)
- February 6 - Banjo Paterson, Australian poet & journalist (b. 1864)
- February 9 - Aaron S. Watkins, American temperance movement leader (b. 1863)
- February 11 - Rudolf Hilferding, German economist and Minister of Finance (b. 1877)
- February 21 - Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1891)
- February 24 - Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, German submariner (b. 1886)
- February 27 - William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (b. 1895)
- February 28 - King Alfonso XIII of Spain (b. 1886)
- March 6 - Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor (b. 1867)
- March 8 - Sherwood Anderson, American author (b. 1876)
- March 15 - Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian painter (b. 1864)
- March 28 - Virginia Woolf, English writer (b. 1882)
- April 13 - Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer (b. 1863)
- April 24 - Karin Boye, Swedish poetess (suicide) (b. 1900)
- April 28 - Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian coloratura soprano (b. 1871)
- May 16 - Minnie Vautrin, American missionary and heroine of the Nanjing Massacre (b. 1887)
- May 30 - Prajadhipok, Rama VII, king of Thailand (b. 1893)
- June 2 - Lou Gehrig, baseball player (b. 1903)
- June 4 - Wilhelm II, Last Emperor of Germany (b. 1859)
- June 6 - Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born automobile builder and race car driver (b. 1878)
- June 29 - Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist, composer, and third Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1860)
- July 4 - Antoni Łomnicki, Polish mathematician (b. 1881)
- July 10 - Jelly Roll Morton, American jazz musician and composer (b. 1890)
- July 11 - Arthur Evans, English archaeologist (b. 1851)
- July 25 - Allan Forrest, American actor
- July 26 - Henri Lebesgue, French mathematician (b. 1875)
- August 7 - Rabindranath Tagore, Indian author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1861)
- August 13 - James Stuart Blackton, American film producer (b. 1875)
- August 14 - Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1854)
- August 30 - Peder Oluf Pedersen, Danish engineer and physicist (b. 1874)
- August 31 - Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (suicide) (b. 1892)
- September 12 - Hans Spemann, German embryologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1869)
- October 5 - Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1856)
- October 26 - Arkady Gaidar, Russian writer (killed in combat) (b. 1904)
- November 18 - Walther Nernst, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1864)
- November 18 - Chris Watson, third Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1867)
- November 21 - Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, dramatist, impersonator, public speaker (b. 1860)
- November 26 - Niels Hansen Jacobsen, Danish sculptor and ceramist (b. 1861)
- December 3 - Christian Sinding, Norwegian composer (b. 1856)
- December 30 - El Lissitzky, Russian artist and architect (b. 1890)
- Sometime in this year, events of the Doctor Who episodes The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances take place, as does the episode Captain Jack Harkness of its spin-off series Torchwood.
- Sometime in this year, in the movie Citizen Kane, Charles Foster Kane dies.
- The BeeGees song "New York Mining Disaster 1941" refers to the year.
- Physics - not awarded
- Chemistry - not awarded
- Medicine - not awarded
- Literature - not awarded
- Peace - not awarded
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