- January - Pope Clement VIII succeeds Pope Innocent IX.
- Founding of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland's oldest university
- Thomas Kyd publishes The Spanish Tragedy
- January 22 - Pierre Gassendi, French philosopher and scientist.
- March 23 - Jan Amos Komensky, Czech teacher.
- August 28 - George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
- December 6 - William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle.
- Wilhelm Schickard, builder of "Calculating Clock", mechanical machine, what was capable of adding and subtracting up to 6 digit numbers.
- Sir John Eliot, English statesman.
- Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of the colony of New Netherland before it was turned over to the British Empire.
- Jacques Callot, French baroque graphics artist.
- September 13 - Michel de Montaigne, French Renaissance thinker.
- November 27 - John III Vasa of Sweden
- Gunilla Bielke, second wife of John III Vasa. (approximately)
- Bartolomeo Ammanati, Florentine architect and sculptor.
- Thomas Cavendish, English sailor and explorer.
- December - Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, great grandson of Pope Paul III and nephew of Philip II of Spain.
- Robert Greene, English playwright, poet, pamphleteer, and prose writer