Facts about Coleman Young

Coleman Young died at 79 years old
Born: May 24, 1918
Best known as: Mayor of Detroit, 1974-1993

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Coleman Young Biography

Coleman Young was the first black mayor of Detroit and one of the first black mayors of any major American city. He moved to Detroit with his family as a youngster and later worked at Ford Motors, where he was fired for being a labor union organizer. During World War II he served as a navigator with the Tuskegee Airmen. Young was elected to the Michigan state senate in 1964 (serving from 1965-73), joined the Democratic National Committee in 1968, and in 1973 was elected mayor of Detroit. He was the city’s mayor for the next 20 years, retiring in 1993 after five terms. Young’s brash charm and plainspoken style made him something of a folk hero, especially to Detroit’s many African-American citizens, and Michigan’s role as a major electoral state made him a power broker in national politics as well. He published Hard Stuff: The Autobiography of Coleman Young in 1994.

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Young was married twice: to Marion McClellan (1947-54) and then to Nadine Drake (1955-1960)… In 1989, when he was 71 years old, Young was sued by a former girlfriend named Annivory Calvert, who said Young was the father of her six-year-old son. Paternity tests confirmed the charge and Young agreed to pay child support. Their son, Joel Loving, later took the name Coleman Young, Jr. and was elected as a state senator from Michigan’s 4th District in 2006.


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