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1997

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Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1960s  1970s  1980s  - 1990s -   2000s   2010s   2020s
Years: 1994 1995 1996 - 1997 - 1998 1999 2000

Year 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar).

The year 1997 was the Year of the Ox according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Events of 1997

January

January
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27 28 29 30 31    
  • January 9 – Yachtsman Tony Bullimore is found alive, five days after his boat capsized in the Southern Ocean.
Bill Clinton, who began his second term on January 20
Bill Clinton, who began his second term on January 20
  • January 17 – A Delta II rocket carrying a military GPS payload explodes, shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
  • January 18 – In northwest Rwanda, Hutu militia members kill three Spanish aid workers, three soldiers, and seriously wound another.
  • January 19 – Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more than 30 years, and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.
  • January 20 – U.S. President Bill Clinton is inaugurated for his second term.
  • January 21 – Newt Gingrich becomes the first Speaker of the United States House of Representatives to be disciplined internally for ethical misconduct.
  • January 22 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State, after confirmation by the United States Senate.
  • January 23 – Mir Aimal Kasi is sentenced to death for a 1993 assault rifle attack outside CIA headquarters that killed two and wounded three.
  • January 26 – The Green Bay Packers win the NFL Championship for the first time since 1967, defeating the New England Patriots 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • January 27 – It is revealed that French museums had nearly 2,000 pieces of art that had been stolen by Nazis.

February

February
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
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10 11 12 13 14 15 16
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24 25 26 27 28    
  • February 4 – O.J. Simpson is found liable in civil court for the death of Ron Goldman and for the battery of Nicole Brown Simpson. Simpson is ordered to pay $35,000,000 in damages to the families of the two victims.
  • February 4 – On their way to Lebanon, 2 Israeli troop-transport helicopters collide, killing 73.
  • February 4 – After at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognizes opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.
  • February 4 – British Home Secretary Michael Howard informs Moors Murderer Myra Hindley that she will never be released from prison. Mr Howard made the decision in agreement with a recommendation made by his predecessor David Waddington in 1990.
  • February 5 – The so-called "Big Three" banks in Switzerland announce the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors and their families.
  • February 5 – Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter Reynolds investment banks announce a $10 billion merger.
  • February 10 – Sandline affair Australian newspapers publish stories that the government of Papua New Guinea has brought mercenaries onto Bougainville Island.
  • February 13 – STS-82: Tune-up and repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope is started by astronauts from Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • February 13 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 7,000 for the first time, gaining 60.81 to 7,022.44.
  • February 19 – The last of the People's Republic of China's major revolutionaries, Deng Xiaoping, dies at age 92.
  • February 22 – In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned, and was born in July 1996.
  • February 23 – A large fire occurs in the Russian space station Mir.

March

Osaka Dome during the evening.
Osaka Dome during the evening.
March
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
          1 2
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10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 
31  
  • March 4 – U.S. President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on human cloning.
  • March 6 – Pablo Picasso's Tête de Femme is stolen from a London gallery (recovered a week later).
  • March 6 – In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers overrun a military base and kill more than 200.
  • March 7- Rapper Notorius B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls was gunned down and killed after a concert in Los Angeles, CA.
  • March 11 – An explosion at the Tokaimura nuclear waste reprocessing plant in Japan exposes 35 workers to low-level radioactive contamination, in the worst nuclear accident in Japan's history.
  • March 13 – India's Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
  • March 13 – The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China creates a new Chongqing Municipality. It was formerly part of Sichuan.
  • March 13 – The Phoenix Lights are seen over Phoenix, AZ.
  • March 18 – The tail of a Russian An-24 charter plane breaks off while en-route to Turkey, causing the plane to crash, killing all 50 on board, and resulting in the grounding of all An-24s.
  • March 21 – In Zaire, Etienne Tshiksekedi is appointed prime minister; he ejects supporters of Mobutu Sese Seko from his cabinet.
  • March 22 – Tara Lipinski, 14, becomes the youngest women's world figure skating champion.
  • March 22 – The comet Hale-Bopp makes its closest approach to Earth.
  • March 24 – The 69th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with The English Patient winning Best Picture.

April

April
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 
28 29 30        
  • April 3 – The Thalit massacre in Algeria: All but one of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit are killed by guerrillas.
  • April 11 – Fire damages the Turin Cathedral in Italy.
  • April 14 – Fire breaks out in a pilgrim camp on the Plain of Mena, 7 miles from Mecca; 343 die.
  • April 14 – Former SS Captain Erich Priebke is retried; on July 22 he is sentenced to five years in prison.
  • April 18 – The Red River of the North breaks through dikes and floods Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, causing US$ 2 billion in damage.
  • April 21 – A Pegasus rocket carries the remains of 24 people into earth orbit, in the first space burial.
  • April 22 – Haouch Khemisti massacre in Algeria; 93 villagers killed.
  • April 22 – A 126-day hostage crisis at the residence of the Japanese ambassador in Lima, Peru ends after government commandos storm and capture the building, rescuing 71 hostages. One hostage dies of a heart attack, two soldiers are killed from rebel fire, and all 14 Tupac Amaru rebels are slain.
  • April 22 – France supports the new transitional government in Zaire, withdrawing its support of Mobutu Sese Seko.
  • April 23 – Omaria massacre in Algeria; 42 villagers killed.
  • April 29 – Two trains crushed at Hunan, China, 126 killed.

May

May
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 
26 27 28 29 30 31  
  • May 1 – United Kingdom general election, 1997: The United Kingdom's Labour Party ends 18 years of Conservative rule.
  • May 2 – Tony Blair is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Elizabeth II.
  • May 3 – Katrina and the Waves win the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 for the UK with Love Shine a Light, the most successful Eurovision entry ever.
  • May 10 – An earthquake near Ardekul, in northeastern Iran, kills at least 2,400.
  • May 11 – IBM's Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, the first time a computer beat a chess World champion in a match.
  • May 12 – The Russian- Chechen Peace Treaty is signed.
  • May 14 – The Star Alliance is formed between Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System, Thai Airways International and United Airlines.
  • May 15 – United States government acknowledges existence of "Secret War" in Laos and dedicates Laos Memorial in honour of Hmong and other "Secret War" veterans.
  • May 16 – Mobutu Sese Seko leaves Kinshasa (eventually settles in Morocco).
  • May 17 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa.
  • May 25 – Strom Thurmond becomes the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Senate (41 years and 10 months).
  • May 25 – A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.
  • May 27 – The second-deadliest tornado of the 1990s hits in Jarrell, Texas, killing 27 people.
  • May 31 – Opening of the Confederation Bridge; the 13 kilometer bridge is the world's longest bridge spanning ice covered waters, between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, Canada.

June

June
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 
30  
  • June 1 – Iraq disarmament crisis Iraqi military escorts on board an UNSCOM helicopter try to physically prevent the UNSCOM pilot from flying the helicopter in the direction of its planned destination, threatening the safety of the aircraft and their crews.
  • June 1 – Hugo Banzer wins the Presidential elections in Bolivia.
  • June 2 – In Denver, Colorado, Timothy McVeigh is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
  • June 5 – Kim Hyun Chul, son of Kim Young Sam, president of South Korea, is charged with bribery and corruption related to the awarding of government contracts.
  • June 7 – A computer user known as "_eci" publishes his Microsoft C source code on a Windows 95 and Windows NT exploit, which would later become WinNuke. The source code gets wide distribution across the internet, and Microsoft is forced to release a security patch.
  • June 7 – The Detroit Red Wings win their first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers four games to none. Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon is awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
  • June 8 – A United States Coast Guard helicopter crashes near Humboldt Bay, California. All four crewmembers perish.
  • June 11 – The British House of Commons votes for a total ban on handguns.
  • June 12 – The United States Department of the Treasury unveils a new $50 bill, meant to be more difficult to counterfeit.
  • June 13 – A jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to death for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
  • June 16 – Dairat Labguer massacre in Algeria; about 50 killed.
  • June 19 – The fast food chain McDonald's wins a partial victory in its libel trial, known as the McLibel case, against 2 environmental campaigners. The judge decides it was true that McDonald's targeted its advertising at children, who pestered their parents into visiting the company's restaurants.
  • June 25 – An unmanned Progress spacecraft collides with the Russian space station Mir.
  • June 26 – Bertie Ahern is appointed as the 10th Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland and Mary Harney is appointed as the 16th, and first female, Tánaiste, after their parties, Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats respectively, win the 1997 General Election.

July

July
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 
28 29 30 31      
  • July 1 – The United Kingdom hands sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China.
  • July 4 – NASA's Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars.
  • July 5 – In Cambodia, Hun Sen of the Cambodian People's Party overthrows Norodom Ranariddh in a coup.
  • July 8 – Mayo Clinic researchers warn that the dieting drug " fen-phen" can cause severe heart and lung damage.
  • July 8 – NATO invites the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.
  • July 10 – In London, scientists report their DNA analysis findings from a Neanderthal skeleton, which support the out of Africa theory of human evolution, placing an "African Eve" at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
  • July 11 – 90 die in Thailand's worst hotel fire at Pattaya.
  • July 13 – The remains of Che Guevara are returned to Cuba for burial, alongside some of his comrades.
  • July 16 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 63.17 to close at 8,038.88. It is the Dow's first close above 8,000. The Dow has doubled its value in 30 months.
  • July 17 – The F.W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business.
  • July 21 – The fully restored USS Constitution (aka " Old Ironsides") celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
  • July 23 – Digital Equipment Corporation files antitrust charges against chipmaker Intel.
  • July 25 – K.R. Narayanan is sworn in as India's 10th president and the first member of the Dalit caste to hold this office.
  • July 27 – About 50 are killed in the Si Zerrouk massacre in Algeria.

August

August
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
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4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
  • August 1 – Boeing and McDonnell Douglas complete a merger.
  • August 2 – Australian ski instructor Stuart Diver is rescued as the sole survivor from the Thredbo landslide in New South Wales, in which 18 died.
  • August 3 – Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre in Algeria; 40-76 villagers killed.
  • August 4 – 185,000 Teamsters Union United Parcel Service drivers walk off the job.
  • August 6 – Microsoft buys a $150 million share of financially troubled Apple Computer.
  • August 13 – In Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Cruzeiro wins Sporting Cristal of Peru by 1-0 and are Copa Libertadores de América champions by second time.
  • August 25 – Egon Krenz is convicted of a shoot-to-kill Berlin Wall policy.
  • August 26 – Beni-Ali massacre in Algeria; 60-100 killed.
  • August 26 – The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning is set up in Northern Ireland, as part of a peace process.
  • August 31 – Diana, Princess of Wales, is taken to hospital after a car crash shortly after midnight in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris. She is pronounced dead at 04:00.

September

The funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales on route to Westminster Abbey from Kensington Palace.
The funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales on route to Westminster Abbey from Kensington Palace.
September
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 
29 30          
  • September 3 – Arizona Governor Fife Symington is convicted for various crimes tied to his real estate business, effectively forcing him out of office.
  • September 4 – In Lorain, Ohio, the last Ford Thunderbird for three years rolls off the assembly line.
  • September 5 – The International Olympic Committee picks Athens, Greece to be the host city for the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • September 5 – Mother Theresa of Calcutta dies of heart failure in Kolkata, India.
  • September 6 – The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales takes place at Westminster Abbey, watched by over 2 billion people worldwide.
  • September 6 – A Jean Michel Jarre Oxygene in Moscow concert, celebrating the city's 850th anniversary, draws 3.5 million people.
  • September 7 – First test flight of the F-22 Raptor.
  • September 11 – Scotland votes to create its own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.
  • September 13 – Iraq disarmament crisis: An Iraqi military officer attacks an UNSCOM weapons inspector on board an UNSCOM helicopter while the inspector was attempting to take photographs of unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site designated for inspection
  • September 15 – Norwegian parliamentary election, 1997
  • September 17 – Iraq disarmament crisis: While waiting for access to a site, UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape Iraqi guards moving files, burning documents, and dumping waste cans into a nearby river.
  • September 18 – Wales votes in favour of devolution and the formation of a National Assembly.
  • September 19 – Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria; 53 killed.
  • September 21 – The Islamic Salvation Army, the Islamic Salvation Fronts' armed wing, declares a unilateral ceasefire in Algeria.
  • September 22 – Bentalha massacre in Algeria; over 200 villagers killed.
  • September 25 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UNSCOM inspector Dr. Diane Seaman catches several Iraqi men sneaking out the back door of an inspection site, with log books for the creation of prohibited bacteria and chemicals.
  • September 26 – An air crash in Indonesia kills 234 people (likely caused by smoke rising from numerous forest fires in the area). -see Garuda Indonesia Flight 152
  • September 26 – An earthquake strikes the Italian regions of Umbria and Marche, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse.
  • September 27 – The Catholic diocese of Požega is founded.

October

October
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 
27 28 29 30 31    
  • October 2 – British scientists Moira Bruce and John Collinge, with their colleagues, independently show that the new variant form of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the same disease as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
  • October 11 – The mixed martial arts organization PRIDE Fighting Championships holds its inaugural event at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. In the main event Rickson Gracie defeats Nobuhiko Takada by armbar.
  • October 12 – Sidi Daoud massacre in Algeria: 43 are killed at a false roadblock.
  • October 15 – Andy Green sets the first supersonic land speed record for the ThrustSSC team, led by Richard Noble of the UK. ThrustSSC goes through the flying mile course at Black Rock Desert, Nevada at an average speed of 1,227.985 km/h (763.035 mph).
  • October 15 – NASA launches the Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn.
  • October 16 – First colour photograph on the front page of the New York Times appears.
  • October 17 – The remains of Che Guevara are laid to rest with full military honours in a specially built mausoleum in the city of Santa Clara, Cuba, where he had won the decisive battle of the Cuban Revolution 39 years before.
  • October 26 – The Florida Marlins win the 1997 World Series against the Cleveland Indians.
  • October 27 – Stock markets around the world crash because of a global economic crisis scare. The Dow Jones Industrial Average follows suit and plummets 554.26, or 7.18%, to 7,161.15. The points loss exceeds the loss from Black Monday. Officials at the New York Stock Exchange for the first time invoke the "circuit breaker" rule to stop trading.
  • October 28 – In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average gains a record 337.17 points, closing at 7,498.32. One billion shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time ever.
  • October 29 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq says it will begin shooting down Lockheed U-2 surveillance planes being used by UNSCOM inspectors.
  • October 30 – In Newton, Massachusetts, British au pair Louise Woodward is found guilty of the baby-shaking death of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen.

November

November
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
  • November 3 – In France, striking truck drivers blockade ports during a pay dispute.
  • November 10 – Telecom companies WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a US$37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom (the largest merger in US history).
  • November 10 – A Fairfax, Virginia jury finds Mir Aimal Kasi guilty of murdering 2 CIA employees in 1993.
  • November 11 – Mary McAleese is elected the eighth President of Ireland.
  • November 12 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the World Trade Centre 1993 bombings.
  • November 16 – The Toronto Argonauts win their second consecutive Canadian Football League title by defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders 47-23 to win the 85th Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • November 17 – In Luxor, Egypt, 62 people are killed by 6 Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut.
  • November 19 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to septuplets in the second known case where all seven babies are born alive.
  • November 27 – NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission is launched, the start of satellite component of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System.

December

December
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 
29 30 31        
  • December 3 – In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries sign a treaty prohibiting the manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel land mines. However, the United States, the People's Republic of China, and Russia, do not sign the treaty.
  • December 11 – The Kyoto Protocol is adopted by a United Nations committee.
  • December 12 – Demonstrations in state capitals of Australia against the WTO and IMF.
  • December 19 The highest-grossing movie of all time, James Cameron's [Titanic (1997 film)|Titanic, premiers in the U.S.
  • December 24 – Sid El-Antri massacre in Algeria: 50-100 villagers are killed.
  • December 27 – Ulster loyalist paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland, inside Long Kesh prison.
  • December 29 – Hong Kong begins to kill all the chickens within its territory (1.25 million) to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
  • December 30 – Wilaya of Relizane massacres of December 30, 1997: In the worst incident in Algeria's insurgency, 400 are killed from four villages in the wilaya of Relizane.

Undated

  • The Toyota Prius comes to showrooms, only in Japan. The Prius was the first hybrid vehicle to go into full production. It would come to U.S. showrooms in 2000.

Deaths

January – June

  • January 1 – Townes Van Zandt, American folk singer (b. 1944)
  • January 4 – Harry Helmsley, American real estate mogul (b. 1709)
  • January 6 – Catherine Scorsese, Italian-American actress (b. 1912)
  • January 10 – Sheldon Leonard, American producer, actor, director (b. 1707)
  • January 10 – Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd, Scottish chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1707)
  • January 12 – Charles B. Huggins, Canadian-born cancer researcher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1701)
  • January 16 – Ennis Cosby, comedian Bill Cosby's son (b. 1969)
  • January 17 – Clyde Tombaugh, American astronomer (b. 1706)
  • January 19 – James Dickey, American poet and novelist (b. 1923)
  • January 20 – Curt Flood, American baseball player (b. 1938)
  • January 21 – Colonel Tom Parker, Dutch-born celebrity manager (b. 1709)
  • January 31 – Johnny Klein, American drummer (b. 1918)
  • February 1 – Herb Caen, American newspaper columnist (b. 1916)
  • February 2 – Chico Science, Brazilian musician (automobile accident) (b. 1967)
  • February 5 – Pamela Harriman, U.S. Ambassador to France (b. 1920)
  • February 11 – Don Porter, American actor (b. 1912)
  • February 19 – Deng Xiaoping, leader of the People's Republic of China (b. 1704)
  • February 23 – Tony Williams, American musician (b. 1945)
  • February 28 – Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, shooters in the North Hollywood shootout.
  • March 4 – Robert H. Dicke, American experimental physicist (b. 1916)
  • March 4 – Carey Loftin, American actor and stuntman (b. 1914)
  • March 6 – Cheddi Jagan, President of Guyana (b. 1918)
  • March 7 – Edward Mills Purcell, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1912)
  • March 7 – Martin Kippenberger, German artist (b. 1953)
  • March 9 – Terry Nation,Scriptwriter (b. 1930)
  • March 10 – La Vern Baker, American singer (b. 1929)
  • March 14 – Fred Zinnemann, Austrian-born director (b. 1707)
  • March 17 – Jermaine Stewart, American singer (b. 1957)
  • March 19 – Willem de Kooning, Dutch artist (b. 1704)
  • March 20 – Tony Zale, American boxer (b. 1913)
  • March 21 – W.V. Awdry, British children's writer (b. 1911)
  • April 5 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet (b. 1926)
  • April 7 – Witto Aloma, Cuban Major League Baseball player (b. 1923)
  • April 7 – Georgi Shonin, cosmonaut (b. 1935)
  • April 12 – George Wald, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1703)
  • April 15 – Mildred Cleghorn, chairwoman of the Fort Sill Apache tribe (b. 1910)
  • April 16 – Doris Angleton, American socialite (b. 1951)
  • April 16 – Roland Topor, French illustrator (b. 1938)
  • April 20 – Henry Mucci, American Colonel of the 98th Ranger Battalion (b. 1709)
  • April 22 – Baroness Seear, President of the UK Liberal Party (b. 1913)
  • May 2 – John Carew Eccles, Australian neurophysiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1703)
  • May 5 – Walter Gotell, German actor (b. 1924)
  • May 14 – Harry Blackstone Jr., American magician (b. 1934)
  • May 22 – Alfred Hershey, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1708)
  • May 23 – James Lee Byars, American artist (b. 1932)
  • May 24 – Edward Mulhare, Irish actor (b. 1923)
  • May 31 – James Bennett Griffin, American archaeologist (b. 1705)
  • June 12 – Bulat Okudzhava, Soviet non-mainstream singer of Georgian descent (b. 1924)
  • June 22 – Gérard Pelletier, French journalist, politician and diplomat (b. 1919)
  • June 23 – Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X (b. 1936)
  • June 25 – Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French explorer (b. 1910)
  • June 26 – Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Hawaiian singer (b. 1959)

July – December

  • July 1 – Robert Mitchum, American actor (b. 1917)
  • July 2 – James Stewart, American actor (b. 1708)
  • July 4 – Charles Kuralt, American television reporter (b. 1934)
  • July 4 – John Zachary Young, British biologist (b. 1707)
  • July 14 - Sir Garfield Barwick, Australian Chief Justice (b. 1703)
  • July 15 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer (murdered) (b. 1946)
  • July 18 – Eugene Shoemaker, American astrologist (b. 1928)
  • July 20 – John Akii-Bua Ugandan hurdler (b. 1949)
  • July 23 – Chuhei Nambu, Japanese athlete (b. 1704)
  • July 24 – William J. Brennan, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1706)
  • August 2 – William S. Burroughs, American author (b. 1914)
  • August 2 – Fela Kuti, Nigerian musician and political activist (b. 1938)
  • August 4 – Jeanne Calment, French supercentenarian and the oldest living person ever documented in history. (b. 1875)
  • August 8 – Sviatoslav Richter, Ukrainian pianist (b. 1915)
  • August 10 – Conlon Nancarrow, American-born composer (b. 1912)
  • August 12 – Luther Allison, American musician (b. 1939)
  • August 16 – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pakistani Qwalli artist (b. 1948)
  • August 21 – Yuri Nikulin, Russian actor
  • August 23 – John Kendrew, British molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (b. 1917)
  • August 24 – Louis Essen, English physicist (b. 1708)
  • August 31 – Diana, Princess of Wales (car accident) (b. 1961)
  • August 31 – Dodi Al-Fayed, Egyptian businessman (the same automobile accident) (b. 1955)
  • September 2 – Rudolph Bing, Austrian opera manager (b. 1702)
  • September 2 – Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist (b. 1705)
  • September 5 – Georg Solti, Hungarian conductor (b. 1912)
  • September 5 – Mother Teresa, Albanian missionary and humanitarian, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1910)
  • September 7 – Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire (b. 1930)
  • September 9 – Burgess Meredith, American actor (b. 1707)
  • September 17 – Red Skelton, American comedian (b. 1913)
  • September 18 – Jimmy Witherspoon, blues singer (b. 1920)
  • September 19 – Rich Mullins, American musician (b. 1955)
  • September 25 – Jean Françaix, French composer (b. 1912)
  • September 27 – Walter Trampler, American violist (b. 1915)
  • October 1 – Jerome H. Lemelson, American inventor (b. 1923)
  • October 4 – Gunpei Yokoi, Japanese video game franchise creator (b. 1941)
  • October 5 – Brian Pillman, American professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • October 6 – Adrienne Hill, British actress
  • October 6 – Johnny Vander Meer, baseball player (b. 1914)
  • October 12 – John Denver, American musician (b. 1943)
  • October 19 – Glen Buxton, American guitarist (b. 1947)
  • October 22 – Leonid Amalrik, Russian animator (b. 1705)
  • October 23 – Bert Haanstra, Dutch filmmaker (b. 1916)
  • October 24 – Don Messick, American voice actor (b. 1926)
  • November 4 – Eddie Arcaro, American Hall of Fame Jockey (b. 1916)
  • November 5 – James Robert Baker, American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1946)
  • November 5 – Sir Isaiah Berlin, Russian historian of ideas (b. 1709)
  • November 11 – Rodney Milburn, American athlete (b. 1950)
  • November 12 – Carlos Surinach, Spanish composer (b. 1915)
  • November 15 – Douglas MacArthur II, nephew of World War II General Douglas MacArthur (b. 1709)
  • November 17 – John Wimber, American leader of the Vineyard Movement (b. 1934)
  • November 21 – Robert Simpson, English composer (b. 1921)
  • November 25 – "Barbara" (Monique Serf), French singer (b. 1930)
  • November 30 – Kathy Acker, American author (b. 1947)
  • December 2 – Shirley Crabtree, British wrestler best known as Big Daddy (b. 1930)
  • December 2 – Michael Hedges, American composer and guitarist (b. 1953)
  • December 19 – David Schramm, American astrophysicist (b. 1945)
  • December 20 – Denise Levertov, English-born American poet (b. 1923)
  • December 21 – Amie Comeaux, American country singer (b. 1976)
  • December 24 – Toshirō Mifune, Japanese actor (b. 1920)
  • December 25 – Denver Pyle, American actor (b. 1920)
  • December 27 – Billy Wright, Irish paramilitary leader (b. 1960)

Unknown dates

 
  • Laurence Henry Hicks, Australian composer (b. 1912)

Nobel prizes

  • Chemistry – Paul D. Boyer, John E. Walker, Jens C. Skou
  • Economics – Bank of Sweden – Robert C. Merton, Myron Scholes
  • Literature – Dario Fo
  • Peace International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams
  • Physics – Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, William D. Phillips
  • Medicine – Stanley B. Prusiner

Templeton Prize

  • Pandurang Shastri Athavale