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April 15 – Jackie Robinson, an African-American, plays first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers major-league baseball team, ending the sport's unofficial rule against blacks playing.
June 26 - Sindh province joins Pakistan, after the majority voted in favour.
June 29 - Balochistan (Pakistan) province joins Pakistan, after the majority voted in favour.
July 2 - North-West Frontier Province province joins Pakistan, after the majority voted in favour.
July 19 - Punjab (Pakistan) province joins Pakistan, after the majority voted in favour.
July 22 – The former East Bengal province joins Pakistan on the basis of a Muslim-majority region the people had voted in to join the cause for Pakistan, according to the Partition Plan, based on the Two-nation theory. It later becomes the present day People's Republic of Bangladesh, since 1971.
August 14 – Pakistan is granted freedom from Britain, end of the British Raj.
August 15 – India gains independence from Britain.
January 1 - Jon Corzine, American politician
January 8 – David Bowie, British singer
March 8 – Carole Bayer Sager, American actress and singer
March 24 - Alan Sugar, British businessman
March 24 - Christine Gregoire, American politician
March 25 – Elton John, British singer
April 16 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, American basketball player
April 18 - James Woods, American actor
May 8 - John Reid, Baron Reid of Cardowan, British politician
July 9 - O. J. Simpson, American football player
July 17 - Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
July 30 - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born actor, bodybuilder and politician, former Governor of California
July 31 - Richard Griffiths, British actor (d. 2013)
August 16 – Carol Moseley Braun, American jurist
September 30 - Marc Bolan, British musician (d. 1977)
October 4 - Ann Widdecombe, British politician
October 26 – Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of the United States and United States Secretary of State
November 10 - Bachir Gemayel, Lebanese politician (d. 1982)
November 10 - Greg Lake, American musician
December 8 – Gregg Allman, American rock musician
Emil J. Brach, American candy manufacturer (b. 1859)
January 25 – Al Capone, American gangster (b. 1899)
March 11 – Victor Lustig, Austrian-born con artist (b. 1890)
March 18 – William C. Durant, American automobile pioneer (b. 1861)
March 19 – Prudence Heward, Canadian painter (b. 1896)
March 20 – Victor Goldschmidt, Swiss geochemist (b. 1888)
March 30 – Arthur Machen, Welsh-born writer (b. 1863)
April 1 – King George II of Greece (b. 1890)
April 7 – Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer (b. 1863)
April 20 – King Christian X of Denmark (b. 1870)
April 24 – Willa Cather, American novelist (b. 1873)
May 8 – Harry Gordon Selfridge, American department store magnate (b. 1858)
May 16 – Frederick Hopkins, English biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (b. 1861)
May 17 – George William Forbes, Prime Minister of New Zealand
May 20 – Philipp Lenard, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1862)
May 24 – C. F. Ramuz, Swiss writer (b. 1878)
July 19 – Aung San, Burmese nationalist (assassinated) (b. 1915)
July 30 – Joseph Cook, sixth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1860)
October 4 – Max Planck, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1858)
November 25 – Léon-Paul Fargue, French writer (b. 1876)
December 1 – Aleister Crowley, British occultist (b. 1875) December 1 –
G. H. Hardy, British mathematician (b. 1877)
December 7 – Tristan Bernard, French writer and lawyer (b. 1866) December 7 –
Nicholas M. Butler, American president of Columbia University, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1862)
December 17 – J. N. Brønsted, Danish chemist (b. 1879)