Michael Lederer was born in Princeton, New Jersey in 1956. He grew up in New Haven, Vienna, New York City, and Palo Alto, California. In 1981 he received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Binghamton University in New York. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). He was an original member of TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. Acting roles there included Prince Serpuhovsky in Tolstoy's Strider, Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, and Sigmund Freud in Fräulein Dora.
In the mid 1980s, Lederer lived in a fishing village called La Herradura on the coast of southern Spain. In the months following he wrote his first book, Nothing Lasts Forever Anymore (published Barcelona, 1999). It was also published in Spanish translation as Ya nada dura eternamente. In 2013, PalmArtPress in Berlin republished the book, also in a German translation as Nichts ist mehr für die Ewigkeit.
In 2009, Lederer founded the Dubrovnik Shakespeare Festival in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and remains its Artistic Director. He is co-founder of Safe Haven Museum in Oswego, New York. Lederer's play Mundo Overloadus premiered at New York's PS122 in 2010. His book The Great Game: Berlin-Warsaw Express and Other Stories was published in Berlin 2012. His first full-length novel, Cadaqués, was published by PalmArtPress in February 2014.