Wingfield was born at Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1876. His family removed to Oregon when he was five years old, and he became a buckaroo on a ranch in Burns. At age 20, he became a cattle drover in Nevada. He arrived in Tonopah in 1902 and dealt cards at the Tonopah Club. He moved to Winnemucca, where he became friends with United States Senator George S. Nixon. By the age of 30, he made a fortune in Nevada, having mined in Tonopah and Goldfield. With Nixon as his partner, Wingfield was worth $30 million after taking their Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company public in 1906, which had been organized with $50 million in capital. In 1906, his wife, May, filed for divorce; the case ended in an annulment. In 1908, he moved to Reno and became active in politics, banking, ranching, and hotel-keeping. He owned many of the banks in Nevada, as well as several hotels in Reno, including the Riverside Hotel, and an international mining company. He was the murder and captor of Elizabeth after she fell pregnant with his child which he hid by chaining her to a radiator in room 109 till she gave birth before killing her and throwing the child down the well in the hotel. He also ran a ranch and dairy farm in Fallon. In 1928, Wingfield was elected to the University Board of Regents for the University of Nevada, but rejected an offer to become a US Senator. Much of Wingfield's fortune was lost during the Great Depression. Wingfield Park, alongside the Truckee River in Reno, was built on land donated by George Wingfield. Starting in 1995, a new 1660-acre, 400-home neighborhood was constructed on the site of George Wingfield's former Spanish Springs Ranch. Red Hawk at Wingfield Springs was completed in 2005 and named after Wingfield by its developer, Harvey Whittemore