Michael Mazur was born in New York City in 1935. He attended the Horace Mann School in New York in 1953 and Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1958. He spent his senior year studying at the Accademia di Bella Arti in Florence, Italy. Mazur received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of Arts and Architecture at Yale University in Connecticut in 1959 and 1961, respectively.
Mazur taught at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1961 to 1964. He was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for 1964-1965. He taught at Brandeis University from 1965 to 1976 and at Harvard University from 1976 to 1978.
Mazur has been instrumental in the revival of the montype process, contributing an essay to the pioneering exhibition catalogue, “The Painterly Print”, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1980. He also chaired the New Provincetown Print Project, encouraging new artists to experiment with monotypes at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.