- March 12 - Charlie Parker, saxophonist, aged 34
- April 13 - Theda Bara, silent film star, aged 69
- July 25 - Emmett Till, aged 14
- September 30 - James Dean, aged 24
- November 5 - Maurice Utrillo, aged 71
- December 6 - George Platt Lynes, photographer, aged 48
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