At the 1924 International Congress of Mathematicians in Toronto, a resolution was adopted that at each ICM, two gold medals should be awarded to recognize outstanding mathematical achievement. Professor J. C. Fields, a Canadian mathematician who was secretary of the 1924 Congress, later donated funds establishing the medals which were named in his honor. Consistent with Fields's wish that the awards recognize both existing work and the promise of future achievement, it was agreed to restrict the medals to mathematicians not over forty at the year of the Congress. In 1966 it was agreed that, in light of the great expansion of mathematical research, up to four medals could be awarded at each Congress.

1936 Lars Valerian AHLFORS
1966 Michael Francis ATIYAH
1970 Alan BAKER
1974 Enrico BOMBIERI
1998 Richard E. BORCHERDS
1994 Jean BOURGAIN
1966 Paul Joseph COHEN
1982 Alain CONNES
1978 Pierre René DELIGNE
1966 Simon K. DONALDSON
1936 Jesse DOUGLAS
1990 Vladimir DRINFELD
1986 Gerd FALTINGS
1978 Charles Louis FEFFERMAN
1986 Michael H. FREEDMAN
1998 William Timothy GOWERS
1966 Alexander GROTHENDIECK
1970 Heisuke HIRONAKA
1990 Vaughan F.R. JONES
1954 Kunihiko KODAIRA
2002 Laurent Lafforgue
1994 Pierre-Louis LIONS
1978 Gregori Alexandrovitch MARGULIS
1998 Curtis T. McMULLEN
1962 John Willard MILNOR
1974 David Bryant MUMFORD
1970 Serge NOVIKOV
2006 Andrei OKOUNKOV
2006 Grigori PERELMAN (declined)
1978 Daniel G. QUILLEN
1958 Klaus Friedrich ROTH
1950 Laurent SCHWARTZ
1950 Atle SELBERG
1964 Jean-Pierre SERRE
1990 Shigefumi MORI
1966 Stephen SMALE
2006 Terence TAO
1958 René THOM
1970 John Griggs THOMPSON
1982 William P. THURSTON
2002 Vladimir VOEVODSKY
2006 Wendelin WERNER
1998 Andrew J. WILES (special tribute)
1990 Edward WITTEN
1982 Shing-Tung YAU
1990 Jean-Christophe YOCCOZ
1994 Efim ZELMANOV