Coleman Young was born in 1918 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1923. Coleman worked for the Ford Motor Company and the United States Postal Service before he served in World War II. During the war, Coleman Young flew with the 477th Medium-Bomber Group, otherwise known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
As a veteran, he worked in Detroit to change the Jim Crow laws and was elected as a delegate to draft a new state constitution for Michigan. Coleman Young was elected mayor of Detroit in 1973. He held the position for 20 years and made many improvements in the city.
The Detroit Airport was renamed in his honor and is now known as Coleman A. Young International Airport.