|Centuries:||20th century – 21st century – 22nd century|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s – 2000s – 2010s 2020s 2030s|
|Years:||1998 1999 2000 – 2001 – 2002 2003 2004|
|2001 by topic:|
|News by month|
| Jan – Feb – Mar – Apr – May – Jun
Jul – Aug – Sep – Oct – Nov – Dec
|Architecture – Art – Comics – Film – Home video – Literature ( Poetry) – Music ( Country, Metal, UK) – Radio – Television – Video gaming|
|Elections – Int'l leaders – Politics – State leaders – Sovereign states|
|Science and technology|
|Archaeology – Aviation – Birding/Ornithology – Meteorology – Palaeontology – Rail transport – Science – Spaceflight|
|Sport – Athletics (Track and Field) – Australian Football League – Baseball – Basketball – Football (soccer) – Cricket – Ice Hockey – Motorsport – Tennis – Rugby league|
|Algeria – Argentina – Australia – Bangladesh - Belgium - Brazil – Canada – People's Republic of China – Denmark – El Salvador – Egypt – European Union – France – Georgia – Germany – Ghana – Hungary – India – Iraq – Iran – Ireland – Israel – Italy – Japan – Kenya – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Malaysia – Mexico – New Zealand – Norway – Pakistan – Palestinian territories – Philippines – Poland – Romania – Russia – Singapore – South Africa – South Korea – Spain – Sri Lanka – United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom – United States|
|Awards – Law – Religious leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Works and introductions categories|
| Works – Introductions
Works entering the public domain
|Ab urbe condita||2754|
|British Regnal year||49 Eliz. 2 – 50 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar|| 庚辰年十二月初七日
— to —辛巳年十一月十七日
|- Vikram Samvat||2057–2058|
|- Shaka Samvat||1923–1924|
|- Kali Yuga||5102–5103|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||1001–1002|
|Japanese calendar|| Heisei 13
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 90
|Thai solar calendar||2544|
Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. It was the year of the snake in the Chinese Zodiac.
By traditional interpretation of the Gregorian Calendar, 2001 is also the first year of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium. Popular culture, however, views the year 2000 as holding this distinction.
Also see: Wikipedia's almanac of events for this year.
Events of 2001
- January 1 - A black monolith measuring approximately 9 feet tall appears in Seattle, Washington's Magnuson Park, placed by an anonymous artist in reference to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- January 3 - The 107th United States Congress is sworn in.
- January 8 - Noah, a gaur, is born, the first individual of an endangered species to be cloned.
- January 11 - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approves the merger of America Online and Time Warner to form AOL Time Warner.
- January 13 - A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hits all of El Salvador, killing at least 800 people and leaving thousands homeless. (See also February 13.)
- January 15 - Wikipedia is founded.
- January 16 - US President Bill Clinton awards former US President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honour for his service during the Spanish-American War. Eleven of Roosevelt's descendants accept on his behalf.
- January 20 - Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is sworn in as the 14th President of the Philippines after the Armed Forces of the Philippines and several cabinet members withdraw support for Joseph Estrada.
- January 20 - George W. Bush is sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States.
- January 23- January 25 - United Nations war crimes prosecutor Del Ponte demands that Serbia hand over Slobodan Milošević. Confirmation needed
- January 24 - Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Mandelson resigns from the British cabinet for the second time.
- January 25 - A 50-year-old Douglas DC-3 crashes near Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, killing 24.
- January 26 - An earthquake hits Gujarat, India, killing more than 12,000.
- January 28 - The Baltimore Ravens defeat the New York Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV. It is the Ravens' first Super Bowl title.
- February 6 - Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon wins election as Prime Minister of Israel.
- February 9 - The submarine USS Greeneville strikes and sinks the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime-Maru near Hawaii.
- February 11 - Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh is imploded.
- February 12 - The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
- February 13 - A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits El Salvador, killing at least 400.
- February 16 - Iraq disarmament crisis: British and U.S. forces carry out bombing raids, attempting to disable Iraq's air defense network.
- February 16 - US and UK war planes bomb a Baghdad suburb, killing three.
- February 20 - The 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis begins.
- February 28 - The Nisqually Earthquake strikes Seattle, Washington.
- March 4 - Hintze Ribeiro disaster: A bridge collapses in northern Portugal, killing up to 70.
- March 23 - The Russian space station Mir re-enters the atmosphere near Nadi, Fiji, and falls into the Pacific Ocean.
- March 25 - The 73rd Academy Awards, hosted by Steve Martin are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Gladiator winning Best Picture.
- April 1 - U.S.-China Spy Plane Incident: A Chinese fighter jet bumps into a U.S. EP-3E surveillance aircraft which is forced to make an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for 10 days and the F-8 Chinese pilot, Wang Wei, goes missing and is presumed dead.
- April 1 - Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milošević surrenders to police special forces, to be tried on charges of war crimes.
- April 26 - Junichiro Koizumi becomes Prime Minister of Japan.
- April 28 - Soyuz TM-32 lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the first space tourist, American Dennis Tito.
- April 29 - The UK Census is conducted in the United Kingdom.
- May 1 - The Japanese cities of Urawa, Omiya, and Yono merge to form the city of Saitama.
- May 6 - Space tourist Dennis Tito returns to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-31. ( Soyuz TM-32 is left docked at the International Space Station as a new lifeboat.)
- May 10 - A soccer game stampede in Ghana kills over 120.
- May 13 - Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian House of the Liberties coalition win general elections.
- May 22 - A large trans-Neptunian object ( 28978 Ixion) is found during the Deep Ecliptic Survey.
- May 22- May 23 - The Bahá'í Terraces officially open on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel (site of the Shrine of the Báb and the Bahá'í World Centre).
- May 23 - Bayern München wins the UEFA Champions League.
- May 24 - Sherpa Temba Tsheri, 16, becomes the youngest person to conquer Mount Everest.
- June 5- June 9 - Tropical Storm Allison produces 36 inches (900 mm) of rain in Houston, Texas, killing 22, damaging the Texas Medical Centre, and causing more than 5 billion American dollars of damage overall.
- June 5 - U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords leaves the Republican party, an act which changes control of the United States Senate from the Republican party to the Democratic party.
- June 7 - Tony Blair's Labour Party wins the United Kingdom general election.
- June 20 - Pervez Musharraf becomes President of Pakistan after the resignation of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar.
- June 23 - An earthquake with 7.9 on the Richter scale, hits the south of Peru.
- July 2 - The world's first self-contained artificial heart is implanted in Robert Tools.
- July 3 - A Vladivostokavia Tupolev Tu-154 jetliner crashes on approach to landing at Irkutsk, Russia, killing 145.
- July 13 - Beijing wins the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics
- July 16 - The People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation sign the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.
- July 17 - Inauguration of the Altamira caves's replica created by Manuel Franquelo and Sven Nebel.
- July 19 - UK politician and novelist Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to 4 years in prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
- July 20- July 22 - The 27th G8 summit takes place in Genoa, Italy. Massive demonstrations are held against the meeting by anti-globalisation groups. One demonstrator, Carlo Giuliani, is shot dead by a carabiniere. Several others are badly injured during a police attack on a school used by the protesters as their headquarters.
- July 28 - Alejandro Toledo is sworn in as the new president of Peru, 8 months after a vote of no-confidence in former President Alberto Fujimori.
- August 2 - Robert Mueller is confirmed as the new FBI director.
- August 9 - U.S. President George W. Bush announces his support for federal funding of limited research on embryonic stem cells.
- August 25 - A Cessna 402 aircraft carrying 9 people, including R&B singer Aaliyah, crashes in the Bahamas, killing all aboard.
- September 1 - The libertarian Free State Project is founded at Yale University.
- September 4 - Google is awarded a patent, number 6,285,999, for the PageRank search algorithm used in the Google search engine.
- September 5 - Peru's attorney general files homicide charges against ex-President Alberto Fujimori.
- September 6 - United States v. Microsoft: The United States Justice Department announces that it no longer seeks to break up software maker Microsoft, and will instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.
- September 10 - Norwegian parliamentary election, 2001: Kjell Magne Bondevik returns to power as head of a conservative coalition.
- September 11 - Almost 3,000 are killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Centre in New York City, The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania after an American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the The Twin Towers, American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashes into a grassland in Pennsylvania.
- September 11 - Ansett Australia, one of the oldest airlines in the world and the second-largest in Australia goes under administration with KordaMentha due to major financial struggles.
- September 12 - Jericho, West Bank, Israel sends tanks into the West Bank town of Jericho at the start of a military operation.
- September 15 - The Queen Isabella Causeway in Texas collapses after being hit by a tugboat, killing 8.
- September 17 - The New York Stock Exchange reopens following the attacks in New York.
- September 21 - Sports return to New York for the first time since the attacks with the New York Mets/ Atlanta Braves game at Shea Stadium.
- September 21 - The AZote Fertilisant chemical factory in Toulouse, France explodes, killing 29 and seriously wounding over 2500.
- October 4 - Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 crashes over the Black Sea en route from Tel Aviv, Israel to Novosibirsk, Russia; 78 are killed.
- October 5 - Tom Ridge resigns as Governor of Pennsylvania to become the first director of the newly created United States Office of Homeland Security.
- October 5 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants breaks the single season home run record with his 71st and 72nd home runs of the year.
- October 7 - The United States invades Afghanistan, with participation from other nations participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
- October 8 - Flight SK686 of SAS collides first with a private plane and then a building in Milano Airport; 100 are killed.
- October 10 - U.S. President George W. Bush presents a list of 22 most wanted terrorists.
- October 14 - Michael Schumacher wins the 52nd FIA Formula One World championship, with a record margin of 58 points.
- October 15 - NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io.
- October 19 - SIEV-X sinks en route to Christmas Island.
- October 20 - The Concert for New York City, "a celebration of the strength, resilience, and pride of New York and America," is held.
- October 21 - The United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert is held in Washington D.C..
- October 23 - Principal Financial Group files its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
- October 26 - U.S. president George W. Bush signs the USA PATRIOT Act into law.
- November - The Doha Declaration relaxes the grip of international intellectual property law.
- November 2 - The Glocal Forum, leading international organization in the field of city-to-city cooperation, is established by Ambassador Uri Savir.
- November 4 - Hurricane Michelle hits Cuba, destroying crops and thousands of homes.
- November 4 - The Police Service of Northern Ireland is established, replacing the controversial Royal Ulster Constabulary.
- November 4 - The Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees to win their first-ever World Series.
- November 10 - The People's Republic of China is admitted to the World Trade Organization after 15 years of negotiations.
- November 10 - Australian Prime Minister John Howard is elected to a third term.
- November 10 - Heavy rains and mudslides in Algeria kill more than 900.
- November 12 - In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, headed to the Dominican Republic, crashes in Queens, New York minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board.
- November 13 - Doha Round: The World Trade Organization ends a 4-day ministerial conference in Doha, Qatar.
- November 13 - In the first such act since World War II, U.S. President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of having connections to terrorist acts or planned acts against the United States.
- December 2 - Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection 5 days after Dynegy cancels a US$8.4 billion buyout bid. At the time this is the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
- December 3 - Officials announce that one of the Taliban prisoners captured after the prison uprising at Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan is John Walker Lindh, an American citizen.
- December 11 - The United States government indicts Zacarias Moussaoui for involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- December 13 - U.S. President George W. Bush announces the United States' withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
- December 19 - A new world-record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded in Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia.
- December 22 - Hamid Karzai is sworn in as head of the interim government in Afghanistan.
- December 27 - The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade status with the United States.
- December 27 - Typhoon Vamei forms within 1.5 degrees of the equator. No other tropical cyclone in recorded history has come as close to the equator.
- India becomes the second nation in the world to register one billion people in its population. The first was China in 1979.
For more deaths see: Deaths in 2001
- January 1 - Ray Walston, American actor (b. 1914)
- January 2 - Teri Diver, American actress (b. 1971)
- January 3 - José Greco, Italian-born flamenco dancer (b. 1918)
- January 5 - Nancy Parsons, American actress (b. 1942)
- January 9 - Maurice Prather, American motion picture and still photographer (b. 1926)
- January 12 - William Reddington Hewlett, American businessman (b. 1913)
- January 12 - Vladimir Semichastny, Soviet former head of the KGB (b. 1924)
- January 16 - Laurent-Désiré Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (b. 1939)
- January 19 - Dario Vittori, Argentinean actor (b. 1921)
- January 27 - Marie-José of Belgium, last Queen of Italy (b. 1906)
- January 28 - Curt Blefary, American baseball player (b. 1943)
- January 30 - Jean-Pierre Aumont, French actor (b. 1911)
- January 30 - Johnnie Johnson, English pilot (b. 1915)
- January 31 - Gordon R. Dickson, Canadian writer (b. 1923)
- February 4 - Iannis Xenakis, Greek composer (b. 1922)
- February 6 - Filemon Lagman, Filipino Communist revolutionary (b. 1953)
- February 7 - Dale Evans, American actress and singer (b. 1912)
- February 7 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author and aviator (b. 1906)
- February 9 - Herbert Simon, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1916)
- February 10 - Abraham Beame, American mayor of New York City (b.1906)
- February 12 - Kristina Söderbaum, German actress and photographer (b. 1912)
- February 16 - Bob Buhl, American baseball player (b. 1928)
- february 17 - Khalid Abdul Muhammad, American Black Nationalist leader (b. 1948)
- February 18 - Balthus, French painter (b. 1908)
- February 18 - Dale Earnhardt, American race car driver (b. 1951)
- February 18 - Eddie Mathews, American baseball player (b. 1931)
- February 19 - Priscilla Davis, American socialite (b. 1942)
- February 19 - Stanley Kramer, American film director (b. 1913)
- February 19 - Charles Trenet, French singer (b. 1913)
- February 24 - Claude Elwood Shannon, American mathematician (b. 1916)
- February 25 - Sir Donald Bradman, Australian cricketer (b. 1908)
- February 26 - Stan Cullis, English footballer and manager (b. 1915)
- March 4 - Harold Stassen, American politician (b. 1907)
- March 4 - Fred Lasswell, American cartoonist (b. 1916)
- March 4 - Glenn Hughes, American singer (b. 1950)
- March 12 - Morton Downey Jr., American television personality (b. 1932)
- March 12 - Robert Ludlum, American author (b. 1927)
- March 12 - Ann Sothern, American actress (b. 1909)
- March 13 - Encarnacion Alzona, Filipino historian (b. 1895)
- March 18 - John Phillips, American singer (b. 1935)
- March 21 - Norma Macmillan, Canadian voice actress (b. 1921)
- March 22 - William Hanna, American animation studio executive (b. 1910)
- March 23 - Sully Boyar, American actor (b. 1923)
- March 28 - Vulo Radev, Bulgarian film director (b. 1923)
- March 31 - Clifford Shull, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
- March 31 - David Rocastle, English footballer (b. 1967)
- April 7 - David Graf, American actor (b. 1950)
- April 7 - Beatrice Straight, American actress (b. 1914)
- April 10 - Willie Stargell, American baseball player (b. 1940)
- April 11 - Graciela Naranjo, Venezuelan singer and actress (b. 1916)
- April 11 - Harry Secombe, Welsh entertainer (b. 1921)
- April 12 - Harvey Ball, American designer (b. 1921)
- April 14 - Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japanese director (b. 1927)
- April 15 - Joey Ramone, American musician and singer (b. 1951)
- April 20 - Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor and composer (b. 1946)
- April 20 - Bert Sutcliffe, New Zealand cricketer (b. 1923)
- May 2 - Ted Rogers, British comedian (b. 1935)
- May 2 - Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (b. 1961)
- May 5 - Clifton Hillegass, American businessman and publisher (b. 1918)
- May 9 - James E. Myers, American songwriter (b. 1919)
- May 11 - Douglas Adams, English author (b. 1952)
- May 12 - Perry Como, American singer (b. 1912)
- May 13 - R.K. Narayan, Indian novelist (b. 1906)
- May 20 - Renato Carosone, Italian musician and singer (b. 1920)
- May 24 - Javier Urruticoechea, Spanish footballer (b. 1952)
- May 27 - Ramon Bieri, American actor (b. 1929)
- May 28 - Francisco Varela, Chilean biologist and philosopher (b. 1946)
- June 1 - Hank Ketcham, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
- June 1 - Queen Aiswarya of Nepal (b. 1949)
- June 1 - King Birendra of Nepal (b. 1945)
- June 2 - Imogene Coca, American actress (b. 1908)
- June 2 - Joey Maxim, American boxer (b. 1922)
- June 3 - Anthony Quinn, Mexican actor (b. 1915)
- June 4 - Prince Dipendra of Nepal (b. 1971)
- June 4 - John Hartford, American musician and composer (b. 1937)
- June 7 - Víctor Paz Estenssoro, President of Bolivia (b. 1907)
- June 10 - Princess Leila of Iran (b. 1970)
- June 11 - Timothy McVeigh, American terrorist (b. 1968)
- June 13 - Marcelo Fromer, Brazilian musician (b. 1961)
- June 15 - Henri Alekan, French cinematographer (b. 1909)
- June 17 - Donald J. Cram, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1919)
- June 17 - Thomas Winning, Scottish cardinal (b. 1925)
- June 19 - John Heyer, Australian documentary filmmaker (b. 1916)
- June 21 - John Lee Hooker, American musician (b. 1917)
- June 21 - Carroll O'Connor, American actor (b. 1924)
- June 21 - Souad Hosni, Egyptian actress (b. 1942)
- June 26 - Peter von Zahn, German journalist (b. 1913)
- June 27 - Tove Jansson, Finnish author (b. 1914)
- June 27 - Jack Lemmon, American actor and director (b. 1925)
- June 28 - Mortimer Adler, American philosopher (b. 1902)
- June 28 - Joan Sims, British actress (b. 1930)
- June 30 - Chet Atkins, American country guitar player and producer (b. 1924)
- July 1 - Nikolay Basov, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1922)
- July 5 - Hannelore Kohl, wife of German chancellor Helmut Kohl (b. 1933)
- July 7 - Fred Neil, American singer-songwriter (b. 1936)
- July 11 - Herman Brood, Dutch musician and painter (b. 1946)
- July 12 - Paul Magloire, President of Haiti (b. 1907)
- July 18 - Fabio Taglioni, Italian automotive engineer (b. 1920)
- July 20 - Milt Gabler, American record producer (b. 1911)
- July 22 - Frances Horwich American television show host (b. 1907)
- July 27 - Leon Wilkeson, American musician (b. 1952)
- July 29 - Edward Gierek, Polish politician (b. 1913)
- July 29 - Wau Holland, German hacker (b. 1951)
- August 1 - Poul Anderson, American author (b. 1926)
- August 1 - Korey Stringer, American football player (b. 1974)
- August 3 - Christopher Hewett, British actor (b. 1922)
- August 6 - Jorge Amado, Brazilian writer (b. 1912)
- August 15 - Richard Chelimo, Kenyan athlete (b. 1972)
- August 19 - Les Sealey, English footballer (b. 1957)
- August 20 - Fred Hoyle, British astronomer and writer (b. 1915)
- August 21 - Calum MacKay, Canadian hockey player (b. 1927)
- August 25 - Aaliyah, American singer and actress ((b. 1979)
- August 30 - Ivor Spencer-Thomas, English entrepreneur and inventor (b. 1907)
- September 1 - Bobby Evans, Scottish football player (b. 1927)
- September 2 - Christiaan Barnard, South African surgeon (b. 1922)
- September 3 - Pauline Kael, American film critic (b. 1919)
- September 3 - Thuy Trang, Vietnamese-American actress (b. 1973)
- September 4 - Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, American radio personality and actor (b. 1962)
- September 7 - Spede Pasanen, Finnish television personality (b. 1930)
- September 9 - Ahmed Shah Massoud, Afghani military commander (b. 1953)
- September 11 - David Angell, American television producer (b. 1946)
- September 11 - Garnet Bailey, Canadian ice hockey player and scout (b. 1948)
- September 11 - Todd Beamer, American passenger on Flight 93 (b. 1968)
- September 11 - Berry Berenson, American actress and photographer (b. 1948)
- September 11 - Mark Bingham, American passenger on Flight 93 (b. 1970)
- September 11 - Tom Burnett, American passenger on Flight 93 (b. 1963)
- September 11 - Jeremy Glick, American passenger on Flight 93 (b. 1970)
- September 11 - Barbara Olson, American television commentator (b. 1955)
- September 11 - Alice Stewart Trillin, American author and film producer (b. 1938)
- September 12 - Victor Wong, American actor (b. 1927)
- September 22 - Isaac Stern, Ukrainian violinist (b. 1920)
- October 7 - Chris Adams, American judoka and professional wrestler (b. 1955)
- October 12 - Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, British lawyer and politician (b. 1907)
- October 15 - Zhang Xueliang, Chinese military figure (b. 1901)
- October 26 - Josh Kirby, British artist (b. 1928)
- October 26 - Charlie van Gelderen, South African politician (b. 1913)
- November 7 - Nida Blanca, Philippine actress (b. 1936)
- November 9 - Niels Jannasch, Canadian historian and museum curator (b. 1924)
- November 10 - Ken Kesey, American author (b. 1935)
- November 12 - Tony Miles, English chess player (b. 1955)
- November 12 - Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, American-born Hindu guru (b. 1927)
- November 17 - Michael Karoli, German guitarist ( Can) (b. 1948)
- November 21 - Salahuddin of Malaysia, King of Malaysia (b. 1926)
- November 24 - Melanie Thornton, American-born singer (b. 1967)
- November 25 - Gohar Shahi, Pakistani spiritual leader (b. 1941)
- November 28 - William Kienzle, American author (b. 1928)
- November 29 - George Harrison, English musician (b. 1943)
- November 29 - John Knowles, American author (b. 1926)
- December 5 - Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand sailor and environmentalist (b. 1948)
- December 5 - Franco Rasetti, Italian physicist (b. 1901)
- December 6 - Charles McClendon, American football coach (b. 1923)
- December 8 - Don Tennant, American advertising executive (b. 1922)
- December 8 - Betty Holberton, American programmer (b. 1917)
- December 12 - Josef Bican, Austrian footballer (b. 1913
- December 13 - Chuck Schuldiner, American singer and guitarist (b. 1967)
- December 15 - Rufus Thomas, American singer (b. 1917)
- December 15 - Russ Haas, American professional wrestler (b. 1974)
- December 16 - Stuart Adamson, British musician (b. 1958)
- December 20 - Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (b. 1912)
- December 20 - Léopold Sédar Senghor, First president of Senegal (b. 1906)
- December 26 - Nigel Hawthorne, British actor (b. 1929)
- December 29 - Takashi Asahina, Japanese conductor (b. 1908)
- December 29 - Florian Fricke, German musician (b. 1944)
- December 29 - Cassia Eller, Brazilian singer (b. 1962)
- December 30 - Eileen Heckart, American actress (b. 1919)
- Physics - Eric Allin Cornell, Wolfgang Ketterle, Carl Edwin Wieman
- Chemistry - William S. Knowles, Ryoji Noyori, K. Barry Sharpless
- Medicine - Leland H. Hartwell, R. Timothy Hunt, Paul M. Nurse
- Literature - V.S. Naipaul
- Peace - United Nations, Kofi Annan
- Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel - George A. Akerlof, Michael Spence, Joseph E. Stiglitz
- Rev. Canon Dr. Arthur Peacocke