1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (dominical letter C) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1937th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 937th year of the 2nd millennium, the 37th year of the 20th century, and the eighth year of the 1930s decade.
- January 1 – Anastasio Somoza García becomes President of Nicaragua.
- January 11 – The first issue of Look magazine goes on sale in the United States.
- January 19 – Spanish Civil War: Second Battle of the Corunna Road (begun 13 December 1936) concludes with both sides withdrawing.
- January 19 – Howard Hughes establishes a record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
- January 20 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn in as President of the United States for a second term by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. This is the first time Inauguration Day in the United States is on this date, on which continues to occur; the change is due to the ratification in 1933 of the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- January 23 – Moscow Trials: Trial of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center – In the Soviet Union seventeen leading Communists go on trial, accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin's regime and assassinate its leaders.
- January 26 – Michigan celebrates its centennial anniversary as a U.S. state.
- January 30 – Ingrid Christensen becomes the first woman to set foot on the continent of Antarctica.
- January 31 – The Soviet Union executes 31 people for alleged Trotskyism.
- February 5 – U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 8 – Spanish Civil War: Falangist troops take Málaga.
- February 8 – February 27 – Spanish Civil War – Battle of Jarama: Nationalist and government troops fight to a stalemate.
- February 11 – A sit-down strike ends when General Motors recognises the United Automobile Workers union.
- February 16 – Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon.
- February 19
- Airliner VH-UHH (Stinson) goes down over Lamington National Park, bound for Sydney, killing five people.
- Yekatit 12: During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempt to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades. The Italian security guard fire into the crowd of Ethiopian onlookers. Authorities exact further reprisals, which include indiscriminately slaughtering native Ethiopians over the next three days, detaining thousands of Ethiopians at Danan and slaughtering almost 300 monks at Debre Libanos monastery.
- The flag of the Netherlands is officially adopted.
- February 20 – Roberto Ortiz is elected president of Argentina.
- February 21 – The League of Nations Non-Intervention Committee prohibits foreign nationals from fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
- March – The first issue of Detective Comics is published in the United States. It goes on to become the longest continually published comic book in American history; it is still published as of 2016.
- March 10 (dated March 14 (Passion Sunday)) – The encyclical Mit brennender Sorge ("With burning concern") of Pope Pius XI is published in Germany in the German language. Largely the work of Cardinals von Faulhaber and Pacelli, it condemns breaches of the 1933 Reichskonkordat agreement signed between the Nazi government and the Catholic Church, and criticises Nazism's views on race and additional matters incompatible with Catholicism.
- March 17 – The Atherton Report (private investigator Edwin Atherton's report detailing vice and police corruption in San Francisco) is released.
- March 18 – New London School explosion: In the worst school disaster in American history in terms of lives lost, the New London School in New London, Texas, suffers a catastrophic natural gas explosion, killing in excess of 295 students and teachers. Mother Frances Hospital opens in Tyler, Texas, a day ahead of schedule in response to the explosion.
- March 19 – The encyclical Divini Redemptoris of Pope Pius XI, critical of communism, is published.
- March 21
- Ponce massacre: A police squad, acting under orders from Governor of Puerto Rico Blanton Winship, opens fire on demonstrators protesting at the arrest of Puerto Rican Nationalist Party leader Pedro Albizu Campos, killing 17 people and injuring over 200.
- The first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Aerobile, makes its initial flight.
- March 26
- April 1
- April 9 – The Kamikaze arrives at Croydon Airport in London; it is the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly to Europe.
- April 12
- April 17 – The animated short Porky's Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery for the Looney Tunes series, featuring the debut of Daffy Duck, is released in the United States.
- April 20 – A fire in an junior school in Kilingi-Nõmme, Estonia, kills seventeen students and injures fifty.
- April 26 – Spanish Civil War: Bombing of Guernica in Spain by the Condor Legion of the Nazi German Luftwaffe in support of the Francoists. Three-quarters of the town is destroyed and hundreds killed.
- May 1 – A general strike occurs in Paris, France.
- May 6 – Hindenburg disaster: In the United States, the German airship Hindenburg bursts into flame when mooring to a mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Of the 36 passengers and 61 crew on board, 13 passengers and 22 crew die, as well as one member of the ground crew.
- May 7 – Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion Fighter Group, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrives in Spain to assist Francisco Franco's forces.
- May 8: Wydad Casablanca team (abbreviated WAC)(Arabic: نادي الوداد الرياضي / Berber : Wydad Dar al-Beida team) commonly known as Wydad al ouma is a Moroccan sports club based in Casablanca, Morocco, best known for its football casablanca team.
- May 12 – The coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth takes place at Westminster Abbey, London.
- May 21
- A Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.
- As one of the reprisals for the attempted assassination of Italian viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, a detachment of Italian troops massacres the entire community of Debre Libanos, killing 297 monks and 23 laymen.
- May 27 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushes a button in Washington, D.C., signalling the start of vehicle traffic over the bridge.
- May 28 – Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- May 28 – In Germany Volkswagen Group is founded, to build a "people's car". A new town is set to be created to house the thousands of workers who'll be involved in the production of the car.
- May 30
- June 3 – Wallis Simpson marries The Duke of Windsor (the former Edward VIII), in France.
- June 8
- June 14 – Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday.
- June 21 – The coalition government of Léon Blum resigns in France.
- June – Picasso completes his painting Guernica.
- June/July – The Dáil Éireann debates and passes the draught new Constitution of Ireland, which is then submitted for public approval by plebiscite.
- July 1
- July 2
- July 4 – The Lost Colony historical drama is first performed at an outdoor theatre in the location where it is set, Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
- July 5
- July 7
- July 9 – The silent film archives of Fox Film Corporation are destroyed by the 1937 Fox vault fire.
- July 11 – American popular composer George Gershwin dies in Los Angeles of a brain tumor, age 38.
- July 20 – The Geibeltbad Pirna is opened in Dresden, Germany.
- July 21 – Éamon de Valera is elected President of the Executive Council (prime minister) of the Irish Free State by the Dáil (parliament).
- July 22 – New Deal: The United States Senate votes down President Franklin D. Roosevelt's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- July 24 – Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called Scottsboro Boys.
- July 25–31 – Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Beiping–Tianjin, a series of actions fought around Beiping and Tianjin, resulting in Japanese victory.
- July 28 – The Irish Republican Army attempts the assassination by bomb of George VI in Belfast.
- July 29 – Tungchow Mutiny: units of the East Hopei Army mutiny and kill Japanese troops and civilians in Tōngzhōu.
- July 31 – NKVD operative order 00447 «Об операции по репрессированию бывших кулаков, уголовников и других антисоветских элементов» ("The operation for repression of former kulaks, criminals and additional anti-Soviet elements") is approved by the Politburo of the Soviet Union, initially as a 4-month plan for 75,950 people to be executed and an additional 193,000 to be sent to the Gulag.
- August 2 – The Marihuana Tax Act in the United States is a significant bill on the path that will lead to the criminalization of cannabis. It was introduced to U.S. Congress by Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger.
- August 5 – The Soviet Union commences one of the largest campaigns of the Great Purge, to "eliminate anti-Soviet elements." Within the following year, at least 724,000 people are killed on order of the troikas, directed by Joseph Stalin. This is an offensive that targets social classes (such as the kulaks), ethnic or racial backgrounds which are seen as non-Russian and Stalin's personal opponents from the Communist Party and their sympathizers.
- August 6 – Spanish Civil War: Falangist artillery bombards Madrid.
- August 8 – Japan occupies Beijing.
- August 13 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Shanghai opens.
- August 26 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese aircraft attack the car carrying the ambassador of Great Britain throughout a raid on Shanghai.
- September 2 – The Great Hong Kong Typhoon kills an estimated 11,000 persons.
- September 5 – Spanish Civil War: The city of Llanes falls to the Falangists.
- September 7 – CBS broadcasts a two-and-a-half hour memorial concert nationwide on radio in memory of George Gershwin, live from the Hollywood Bowl. Many celebrities appear, including Oscar Levant, Fred Astaire, Otto Klemperer, Lily Pons and members of the original cast of Porgy and Bess. The concert is recorded and released complete years later in what's excellent sound for its time, on CD. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is the featured orchestra.
- September 10 – Nine nations meet in the Nyon Conference, led by the United Kingdom and France, to address international piracy in the Mediterranean.
- September 17 – Abraham Lincoln's head is dedicated at Mount Rushmore.
- September 19 – Swiss professional ice hockey club HC Ambrì-Piotta founded.
- September 21 – George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London publishes the first edition of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
- September 25 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Pingxingguan: The Communist Chinese National Revolutionary Army defeats the Japanese.
- September 27 – The last Bali tiger dies.
- October 1
- October 2–8 – Parsley Massacre: Under the orders of President Rafael Trujillo, Dominican troops kill thousands of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic.
- October 3 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese troops advance toward Nanking.
- October 5 – Roosevelt gives his famous Quarantine Speech in Chicago.
- October 9 – Jimmie Angel lands his plane on top of Devil's Mountain; however, the plane gets damaged and he has to trek through the rainforest for help.
- October 13 – Germany, in a note to Brussels, guarantees the inviolability and integrity of Belgium so long as the latter abstains from military action against Germany.
- October 15 – Ernest Hemingway's novel To Have and Have Not is first published, in the United States.
- October 18–October 21 – Spanish Civil War: The whole Spanish northern seaboard falls into the Falangists' hands; Republican forces in Gijón, Spain, set fire to petrol reserves prior to retreating before the advancing Falangists.
- October 25 – Celâl Bayar forms the new (ninth) government of Turkey.
- November 3 – Maurice J. Tobin resoundingly defeats former governor and mayor James Michael Curley in Boston's mayoral election.
- November 5
- November 6 – Italy joins the Anti-Comintern Pact.
- November 9 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese troops take Shanghai.
- November 10 – Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas announces the Estado Novo ("New State"), thence fitting dictator of Brazil until 1945.
- November 11 – The Kogushi sulphur mine collapse, in western Gunma, Japan, kills at least 245 people.
- December 4 – The Dandy comic is first published in Scotland; it will still be running as of 2011.
- December 11 – Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.
- December 12
- December 13 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Nanking ends with the Japanese occupying the city. In the Nanking Massacre which follows, Japanese soldiers kill over 300,000 Chinese in 3 months.
- December 16 – The original production of the musical Me and My Girl opens at the West End Victoria Palace Theatre in London. A later revival of this musical would win an award.
- December 21 – Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length traditionally animated film, premieres in selected theaters.
- December 25 – At the age of 70, legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra on radio for the first time, beginning his successful 17-year tenure with that orchestra. This first concert consists of music by Vivaldi (at a time when he's seldom played), Mozart, and Brahms. Millions tune in to listen, including U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- December 29 – The new Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) comes into force. The Irish Free State becomes "Ireland", and Éamon de Valera becomes the first Taoiseach (prime minister) of the new state. A Presidential Commission (made up the Chief Justice, the Speaker of Dáil Éireann, and the President of the High Court) assumes the powers of the new presidency, pending the popular election of the first President of Ireland in June 1938. The new constitution prohibits divorce.
- Switzerland begins construction of its Border Line defences.
- The Vibora Luviminda trades union's sugar plantation strike on Maui island, Hawaii.
- Italian psychiatrist Amarro Fiamberti is the first to document a transorbital approach to the brain, which becomes the basis for the controversial medical procedure of transorbital lobotomy.
- John Steinbeck's novella of the Great Depression Of Mice and Men is published in the United States.
- Napoleon Hill's self-help book Think and Grow Rich is published in the United States.
- Soviet industry produces about four times as much as it had in 1928.
- January 1 – Anne Aubrey, British actress
- January 4
- January 6
- January 8 – Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer
- January 13
- January 14
- January 15 – Margaret O'Brien, American child actress
- January 16 – Francis George, American cardinal (d. 2015)
- January 18
- January 19 – Giovanna Marini, Italian singer-songwriter
- January 21 – Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria, heir to the Bavarian Royal House
- January 22 – Joseph Wambaugh, American author
- January 25 – Ange-Félix Patassé, former President of Central African Republic (d. 2011)
- January 27 – John Ogdon, English pianist (d. 1989)
- January 29 – Bobby Scott, American musician, producer and songwriter (d. 1990)
- January 30
- January 31
- February 1
- February 2
- February 3 – Billy Meier, Swiss Prophet
- February 4 – Magnar Solberg, Norwegian biathlete
- February 8
- February 9
- February 10 – Anne Anderson, Scottish physiologist (d. 1983)
- February 11 – Bill Lawry, Australian cricketer
- February 12 – Charles Dumas, American athlete (d. 2004)
- February 13 – Rupiah Banda, President of Zambia
- February 14 – Magic Sam, American musician (d. 1969)
- February 17 – Mary Ann Mobley, American actress; Miss America 1959 (d. 2014)
- February 20
- February 21
- February 25
- March 2 – Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria
- March 4
- March 5 – Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria
- March 6 – Valentina Tereshkova, Russian cosmonaut, first woman in space
- March 8 – Juvénal Habyarimana, third President of Rwanda (d. 1994)
- March 9 – Harry Neale, Canadian ice hockey coach and broadcaster
- March 14 – Benny Paret, Cuban welterweight boxer (d. 1962)
- March 15 – Valentin Rasputin, Russian writer (d. 2015)
- March 17 – Frank Calabrese, Sr., American gangster in the Chicago Outfit (d. 2012)
- March 20 – Jerry Reed, American country musician (d. 2008)
- March 22 – Armin Hary, German athlete
- March 23
- March 27 – Thomas Aquinas Daly, American painter
- March 30 – Warren Beatty, American actor and director
- April 5 – Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
- April 6
- April 9 – Valerie Singleton, English television presenter
- April 10 – Bella Akhmadulina, Russian poet (d. 2010)
- April 15 – Robert W. Gore, American inventor
- April 16 – George "The Animal" Steele, American professional wrestler
- April 17
- April 18 – Jan Kaplický, British architect of Czech origin (d. 2009)
- April 19
- April 20 – George Takei, Japanese American actor, director and author
- April 22 – Jack Nicholson, American film actor
- April 26 – Jean-Pierre Beltoise, French race car driver (d. 2015)
- April 27
- April 28 – Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq (d. 2006)
- April 29 – Jill Paton Walsh, English novelist
- May 1 – Una Stubbs, British actress
- May 2
- May 3 – Hans Cieslarczyk, German football player
- May 4 – Ron Carter, American jazz musician
- May 5 – Trần Đức Lương, President of Vietnam
- May 6 – Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, American boxer (d. 2014)
- May 8
- May 12 – George Carlin, American comedian (d. 2008)
- May 13
- May 15
- May 16 – Yvonne Craig, American actress (d. 2015)
- May 17 – Hazel O'Leary, U.S. Secretary of Energy
- May 18
- May 21
- May 22 – Facundo Cabral, Argentine singer (d. 2011)
- May 24 – Roger Peterson, pilot who flew the plane on The Day the Music Died (d. 1959)
- June 1
- June 2 – Sally Kellerman, American actress
- June 3
- June 4 – Gorilla Monsoon, American professional wrestler and announcer (d. 1999)
- June 7 –
- June 8 – Toni Harper, American child singer
- June 9 – Harald Rosenthal, German biologist
- June 10 – Luciana Paluzzi, Italian actress
- June 11 – Robin Warren, Australian pathologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- June 15
- June 16
- June 18
- June 19 – André Glucksmann, French philosopher and author (d. 2015)
- June 23 – Martti Ahtisaari, President of Finland
- June 25 – Keizō Obuchi, 54th Prime Minister of Japan (d. 2000)
- June 26 – Robert Coleman Richardson, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
- June 28 – Ron Luciano, American baseball umpire and writer (d. 1995)
- July 2 – Richard Petty, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion
- July 4
- July 6
- July 7 – Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong administrator
- July 9 – David Hockney, English-born artist
- July 12
- July 14 – Yoshirō Mori, 55th Prime Minister of Japan
- July 18
- July 20
- July 27
- July 29
- August 2 – Coenraad Bron, Dutch computer scientist (d. 2006)
- August 4 – David Bedford, American musician (d. 2011)
- August 5 – Herb Brooks, American hockey coach (d. 2003)
- August 6 – Barbara Windsor, English actress
- August 8 – Dustin Hoffman, American actor
- August 14 – Alberta Nelson, American actress (d. 2006)
- August 16
- August 18
- August 20
- August 21
- August 26
- August 27 – Alice Coltrane, American jazz harpist, organist, pianist and composer (d. 2007)
- August 29 – James Florio, Governor of New Jersey
- August 30 – Bruce McLaren, Founder of McLaren Racing (d. 1970)
- August 31 – Bobby Parker (guitarist), from USA (d. 2013)
- September 4
- September 5 – William Devane, American actor
- September 6
- September 7
- September 10 – Tommy Overstreet, American country singer (d. 2015)
- September 11 – Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Italian-born Queen of the Belgians
- September 13 – Don Bluth, American director, producer
- September 15
- September 16 – Keith Bosley, British broadcaster, poet and translator
- September 17 – Ilarion Ionescu-Galați, Romanian conductor
- September 19 – Abner Haynes, American football player
- September 26 – Jerry Weintraub, American film producer and talent agent (d. 2015)
- September 28 – Rod Roddy, American television announcer (d. 2003)
- October 2 – Johnnie Cochran, American attorney (d. 2005)
- October 4
- October 5 – Barry Switzer, American football coach
- October 11 – Bobby Charlton, English footballer
- October 15 – Linda Lavin, American actress (Alice)
- October 17 – Paxton Whitehead, English actor
- October 23 – Carlos Lamarca, Brazilian military turned guerrilla leader (d. 1971)
- October 24
- October 28 – Lenny Wilkens, American basketball player and coach
- October 31 – Tom Paxton, American folk singer-songwriter
- November 1
- November 2 – Earl Carroll, American lead vocalist for The Cadillacs (d. 2012)
- November 4
- November 5
- November 6 – Joe Warfield, American actor
- November 8 – Paul Foot, British journalist (d. 2004)
- November 10 – Zdeněk Zikán, Czech football player (d. 2013)
- November 11 – Stephen Lewis, Canadian politician and diplomat
- November 15 – Yaphet Kotto, American actor
- November 17
- November 20 – Ruth Laredo, American pianist (d. 2005)
- November 21
- November 26 – Boris Yegorov, Russian cosmonaut (d. 1994)
- November 30 – Ridley Scott, British film director
- December 1
- December 3 – Bobby Allison, American race car driver
- December 7 – Kenneth Colley, British actor
- December 8
- December 9 – Darwin Joston, American actor (d. 1998)
- December 11 – Jim Harrison, American writer
- December 12 – Willie Stokes, American mobster (d. 1986)
- December 17 – Kerry Packer, Australian businessman (d. 2005)
- December 21 – Jane Fonda, American actress and social activist
- December 26 – Professor John Horton Conway, mathematician
- December 28 – Ratan Tata, Indian industrialist
- December 29
- December 30
- December 31
- Cathie Jung, owner of the smallest waist on a living person (measuring just 15 in.).
- January 1 – Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Indian spiritual teacher (b. 1874)
- January 2 – Ross Alexander, American actor (b. 1907)
- January 4 – Paul Behncke, German admiral (b. 1869)
- January 6 – André Bessette, Canadian religious leader (b. 1845)
- January 12 – Martin Johnson, American adventurer and documentary filmmaker (plane crash) (b. 1884)
- January 17 – Richard Boleslavsky, Polish film director (b. 1889)
- January 21 – Marie Prevost, Canadian actress (b. 1898)
- February 5 – Lou Andreas-Salomé, Russian-born writer (b. 1861)
- February 7 – Elihu Root, American statesman and diplomat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1845)
- February 11 – Walter Burley Griffin, American architect and town planner (b. 1876)
- February 24 – Guy Standing, British actor (b. 1873)
- February 27 – Charles Donnelly, Irish poet (killed in battle) (b. 1915)
- March 8 – Howie Morenz, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1902)
- March 9 – Paul Elmer More, American critic and essayist (b. 1864)
- March 11 – Joseph S. Cullinan, American oil industrialist, founder of Texaco (b. 1860)
- March 12 – Charles-Marie Widor, French organist and composer (b. 1840)
- March 15 – H. P. Lovecraft, American writer (b. 1890)
- March 17 – Austen Chamberlain, English statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1863)
- March 20 – Harry Vardon, English golf professional (b. 1870)
- March 22
- March 25 – John Drinkwater, English poet and dramatist (b. 1882)
- March 29 – Karol Szymanowski, Polish composer (b. 1882)
- April 10 – Ralph Ince, American film director (b. 1887)
- April 14 – Ned Hanlon, American baseball manager and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1857)
- April 16 – Jay Johnson Morrow, American military engineer and politician, third Governor of the Panama Canal Zone (b. 1870)
- April 19 – William Martin Conway, British art critic and mountaineer (b. 1856)
- April 19 – William Morton Wheeler, American entomologist (b. 1865)
- April 21 – Saima Harmaja, Finnish poet (b. 1913)
- April 22 – Arthur Edmund Carewe, Armenian-American actor (b. 1884)
- April 24 – Lucy Beaumont, English actress (b. 1873)
- April 25 – Michał Drzymała, Polish rebel (b. 1857)
- April 27 – Antonio Gramsci, Italian Communist writer and politician (b. 1891)
- April 29
- May 1 – Snitz Edwards, Hungarian actor (b. 1868)
- May 4 – Noel Rosa, Brazilian songwriter (b. 1910)
- May 6 – 36 victims of the LZ 129 Hindenburg disaster.
- May 23 – John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist (b. 1839)
- May 24 – Luis F. Álvarez, Spanish American physician (b. 1853)
- May 25 – Henry Ossawa Tanner, American Artist (b. 1859)
- May 28 – Alfred Adler, Austrian psychologist (b. 1870)
- June 2 – Louis Vierne, French composer (b. 1870)
- June 3 – Emilio Mola, Spanish Nationalist commander (plane crash) (b. 1887)
- June 7 – Jean Harlow, American film actress (b. 1911)
- June 10 – Robert Laird Borden, eighth Prime Minister of Canada (b. 1854)
- June 12 – Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Soviet Army officer and Red Army commander-in-chief (executed) (b. 1893)
- June 18 – Gaston Doumergue, thirteenth President of France (b. 1863)
- June 19 – J. M. Barrie, Scottish novelist and dramatist (b. 1860)
- June 25 – Colin Clive, British actor (b. 1900)
- July 2 – Amelia Earhart, American aviator (missing on this date) (b. 1897)
- July 9 – Oliver Law, American labour organiser and Army officer (killed in battle) (b. 1899)
- July 11 – George Gershwin, American composer (b. 1898)
- July 13 – Victor Laloux, French architect (b. 1850)
- July 18 – Julian Bell, English poet (killed in battle) (b. 1908)
- July 20 – Guglielmo Marconi, Italian-born inventor (b. 1874)
- August 6 – F. C. S. Schiller, German-British philosopher (b. 1864)
- August 11 – Edith Wharton, American writer (b. 1862)
- August 27 – Andrew W. Mellon, American banker and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (b. 1855)
- August 30 – Tomás António Garcia Rosado, Portuguese general (b. 1854)
- September 2 – Pierre de Coubertin, second President of the International Olympic Committee (b. 1863)
- September 13 – Ellis Parker Butler, American humorist (b. 1869)
- September 14 – Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Czechoslovak president (b. 1850)
- September 21 – Osgood Perkins, American actor (b. 1892)
- September 22 – Ruth Roland, American actress (b. 1892)
- September 26 – Bessie Smith, African-American singer (b. 1894)
- September 29 – Ray Ewry, American athlete (b. 1873)
- October 16 – Jean de Brunhoff, French writer (b. 1899)
- October 17 – J. Bruce Ismay, English businessman (b. 1862)
- October 19 – Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (b. 1871)
- October 26 – Józef Dowbor-Muśnicki, Polish general (b. 1867)
- November 6 – Johnston Forbes-Robertson, British stage actor (b. 1853)
- November 9 – Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1866)
- November 11 – Uryū Sotokichi, Japanese admiral (b. 1857)
- November 13 – Caroline Louise Dudley (aka Mrs. Leslie Carter), stage & screen actress (b. 1862)
- November 23 – Miklós Kovács Hungarian Slovene writer (b. 1857)
- November 17 – Jack Worrall, Australian cricketer and coach (b. 1860)
- November 23
- November 25 – Raymond Stanton Patton, American admiral and engineer, second Director of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (b. 1882)
- November 27 – Wilhelm Weinberg, German physician (b. 1862)
- December 3 – Prosper Poullet, former Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1868)
- December 8 – Hans Molisch, Czech-Austrian botanist (b. 1856)
- December 9 – Gustaf Dalén, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869)
- December 12 – Alfred Abel, German actor (b. 1879)
- December 20 – Erich Ludendorff, German general (b. 1865)
- December 21
- December 25 – Newton D. Baker, United States Secretary of War (b. 1871)
- December 28
- December 30 – Hans Niels Andersen, Danish businessman, founder of the East Asiatic Company (b. 1852)
- The 300,000 Chinese in Nanking, the Capital of China.