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[[image - black & white photograph of Coleman Alexander Young and a woman; photograph spans two pages]]

Detroit's next chief executive is a man of many interests, but he has only one real hobby — people.

Mayor-elect Coleman A. Young is something of an amateur photographer and has a liking for guns — stemming from his days as an Army infantry officer during World War II. He also likes to read and knows something about classical music.

But most of his leisure hours are spent with people — playing cards, watching a football game or just socializing.

"I guess I don't have any hobbies in the usual sense," Young said, "but I like people. I like to be with old friends and I like to meet new ones."

From mid-summer until last November's municipal election, the Georgia-born Young built on that hobby and parlayed it into what he termed his "street peoples" campaign for mayor. Thus, in a real sense, it might be said that Young socialized his way into the Manoogian Mansion, the official residence of the mayor, and the top political job in the nation's fifth largest city.

As a campaigner or private citizen, Young, 55, has the confident and easy-going style likened somewhat to that of a riverboat gambler.

But that style and his love for people seems to put Young at ease in a variety of places. Young appears equally at home on the floor of the Michigan Senate — where he has served for nine years and currently is a Democratic floor leader — or on the streets of what used to be Detroit's Black Bottom area.

Young grew up in the area when it was considered Detroit's principal Negro district on the city's near east side. But today, most of its buildings have been torn down for future urban development.

Young still gets back to the area occasionally to visit with friends who congregate there to talk about the old days, politics, the Detroit Tigers, the weather or any other fitting topic.

"Some of the old gang are skilled tradesman in the shop and others are working at different jobs," Young said. "We've even got a lawyer or two.

"When we get together, we chip in for a bottle or two and play cards or just talk. It's something like an informal social club."

While Young is known as easy-going and sociable, he has a tough side that has earned him a reputation as a hard-nosed bargainer inside political circles as well as within the State Senate.

Young's political career began in the early 1960's when he was a delegate to the Michigan Constitutional Convention that drafted the state's 1964 Constitution.

A former Senate colleague said of Young, "He's the best politician I've ever seen.

"Coleman is normally sweet and agreeable. But he can also be a tough gut-fighter when he has to be. He polished those qualities in the Senate and he'll need them as mayor of Detroit."

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