Ivan Sarić was born in Subotica (then in Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, today in Serbia). While finishing Trade Academy in his native town, Sarić took to sports early – he was an athlete, wrestler and one of the founders of the local football club. He started with cycling in 1891 and soon became on of the best cyclists in the Kingdom of Hungary taking the second place in the 1896 international race in Pécs. He became the champion of the Kingdom of Hungary on a 10-kilometer track in 1897 and then again a year later. In 1899 he won the 25-kilometer race taking place in Vienna and a 100-km one in Budapest. In 1910 he became the champion of Serbia in one-kilometer and 25-km races.
While visiting Paris in 1909, Sarić met some of the French flight pioneers, including Louis Blériot, and saw the first planes and instantly became fascinated with the prospect of flying. Upon his return to Subotica, he immediately starting building his own aircraft, his first construction made entirely from the materials he had close to hand: wood, linens, motorcycle wheels and even piano strings. When he built in the Delphos engine (24 horsepower) early in 1910 his one-winged Sarić 1 was finished. During the summer he was experimenting and practicing with his new machine and then on 16 October 1910, in front of 7,000 of his fellow citizens Sarić took to air successfully. In 1911 he built Sarić 2, an improved airplane with a more powerful motor (50 hp) of his own construction! His further excursions into flying were stopped by the First World War but Sarić continued the work on the ground experimenting with a flying machine that could take off vertically, a sort of early helicopter with a motor of a double star shape; in the tests this machine showed very good results during the probes. Until the end of his life he kept on with his inventions and constructions as well as remaining a sports promoter. He died in his home town of Subotica.
Aero-club in Subotica is named after Sarić as well as the sports-airport in Bikovo, near Subotica.
A reconstruction of his aircraft Sarić 1 is displayed in the Air-Museum in Belgrade.