Lomax taught literature at Morehouse College and Spelman College, Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. For seven years he served as president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lomax also served for 12 years as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Fulton County. In 1989, he was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for mayor of Atlanta. He is on the board of Teach for America, Emory University, The Carter Center, and a member of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity. U.S. President George W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and United States Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert appointed Lomax to the National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for Action Presidential Commission.
Lomax is the son of Lucius W. Lomax, Jr. (1910–73), a Los Angeles attorney, and Hallie Almena Davis Lomax (1915-2011), a journalist.  Lomax was the brother of Los Angeles civil rights lawyer Melanie E. Lomax, who died in 2006. Lomax and his wife, Cheryl Ferguson Lomax, have two daughters, Michele and Rachel. His oldest daughter, from a previous marriage to playwright and author Pearl Cleage, Deignan Cleage Lomax, graduated from Dillard University in 2000. Lomax and his family live in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Thomas, John D. (Spring 1998), "The Education of Michael Lomax: The former Fulton County Commission chairman and Emory alumnus is the new president of Dillard University", Emory Magazine
- "Dillard President Michael Lomax to Head UNCF", Black Issues, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, February 26, 2004.
- Dubin, Zan (October 15, 1988), "Michael Lomax: A Politician Who Won With Atlanta's Arts Backers", Los Angeles Times.
- Smothers, Ronald (July 24, 1989), "Photo of Michael Lomax, the outgoing Fulton County Commission chairman, campaigning for Mayor with his mother", The New York Times.
- May, Lee (August 9, 1989), "Lomax Drops Out of Atlanta Race : Popular Ex-Mayor Jackson Expected to Win a 3rd Term", Los Angeles Times.
- "President and CEO". United Negro College Fund. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2013-01-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) Biography of Dr. Michael L. Lomax