The year he was born, his father founded the E.F. Young, Jr. Manufacturing Company in Meridian, Mississippi. Within a few years it would become one of the most prominent black-owned businesses in the South. Like his two siblings, Young would be exposed to the family business at an early age. In 1950, while attending Tennessee State University in Nashville, his father died. Upon his graduation in 1951, Young would serve in the Korean War where he received the Bronze Star.
He married the late Doretha Connor of Port Arthur, Texas. To this union were born four children:
Young was actively involved with the family business for fifteen years, raising to the position of president in 1969. Under his leadership, the company would expand its markets into Canada and the Caribbean.
He also helped to tear down the walls of segregation in Mississippi. Young has the distinction of being the first African American member of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce.
In 1980, he was elected to the Mississippi State Legislature where he served for many years.