Victor Fleming was born in La Cañada Flintridge, California in 1889. He was working as a car mechanic when he met Allan Dwan, then a film director for American Film Manufacturing, and was hired as a driver and stunt man in 1912.
In 1915, he joined the Douglas Fairbanks unit at Triangle Film. By the outbreak of World War I, Fleming was Fairbanks' supervisory cameraman at ArtCraft Pictures. After the war, Fleming rejoined Fairbanks at Douglas Fairbanks Pictures where, in 1919, he directed his first film.
Fleming took over direction of The Wizard of Oz (1939) from George Cukor who had previously committed to direct Gone with the Wind (1939). But before he could complete the picture, he was asked to replace Cukor again on the Gone with the Wind set.
After directing more than 40 feature films, Fleming's last picture, Joan of Arc, was released in 1948.
He married Lucile Rosson in 1933 and the couple raised two children.
Victor Fleming died suddenly of a heart attack in Cottonwood, Arizona, in 1949, just after completing his last film. He was 59 years old.