Events from the year
1972 in Michigan.
Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) each selected the top news stories in Michigan for 1972 as follows:   The court order issued by federal judge
Stephen Roth requiring cross-district busing throughout metropolitan Detroit (AP-1, UPI-1); The beginning of the
Michigan Lottery (AP-2, UPI-4); The defeat of Proposal B that would have amended the state constitution to liberalize Michigan's abortion law (AP-3, UPI-3);
George Wallace's victory, attributed to the busing issue, in the 1972 Democratic Party Presidential primary with 51% of the vote (AP-4, UPI-2 [elections]); The defeat of a ballot proposal that would have changed Michigan's system of funding public education, placed a cap on property taxes, and provided for a graduated income tax (AP-6, UPI-7);
Controversy concerning the Detroit Police Department's STRESS unit and a shootout between STRESS officers and off-duty Wayne County sheriff's deputies, resulting in the death of a deputy (AP-5, UPI-10);
The U.S. Senate campaign in which the incumbent Republican
Robert P. Griffin defeated the Democrat challenger Frank J. Kelley (AP-9, UPI-2 [elections]; The skyjacking of an airliner by two Detroit residents, first to Detroit, then to Canada, and finally to Cuba (AP-10, UPI-9);
A school funding crisis in Detroit after voters thrice rejected millage proposals (UPI-5)
The automobile industry's record sales and profits and controversies over price increases, safety, and emission equipment (UPI-6);
High winds that pushed water over the shoreline and resulted in six counties being declared federal disaster areas (AP-7);
A collision near Port Huron that resulted in the sinking of the
Sidney Smith in the St. Clair River, blocking the navigation channel (AP-8); and Michigan's meat law prohibiting use of udders, snouts, and spleen in making hot dogs and lunch meat was overturned by a federal court (UPI-8).
The AP and UPI also selected the state's top sports stories as follows:
  The
1972 Detroit Tigers winning the American League East division championship with a record of 86-70, then losing to the Oakland Athletics in the American League Championship Series (AP-1 [ALCS], AP-2 [AL East championship], UPI-2);
Duffy Daugherty's resignation after 19 years as head coach of the Michigan State Spartans football team and the hiring of Denny Stolz as his replacement (AP-3 [Daugherty], AP-5 [Stolz], UPI-1 [both]);
Michigan Wolverines football, including the 1971 team's 13-12 loss to Stanford in the 1972 Rose Bowl and the 1972 team's 11-1 season and season-ending loss to Ohio State with Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler refusing to kick a game-tying field goal late in the game (AP-4 [OSU game], AP-9 [1972 Rose Bowl], UPI-3 [Rose Bowl and 1972 season]);
Gary Player's victory at the 1972 PGA Championship held at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township (AP-6 [tie], UPI-8);
Micki King's winning the gold medal in the springboard diving event at the 1972 Summer Olympics (AP-12, UPI-7); The induction of
Gordie Howe into the Hockey Hall of Fame and son Mark Howe's becoming the only Michigan athlete to medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics (UPI-3); The
1972 Detroit Lions compiling an 8-5-1 record and failing to make the playoffs (UPI-5); The
1971-72 Detroit Red Wings' finishing in fifth place and failing to make the playoffs (UPI-6); The failure of a proposed domed stadium in downtown Detroit after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the proposed manner of selling bonds to finance the stadium was illegal (AP-6 [tie]);
The hiring of Burt Smith as
Michigan State University's athletic director (AP-6 [tie]);
Ed Brinkman setting several Major League Baseball fielding records for shortstops (AP-9);
Greg Landry's signing of a three-year contract with the Detroit Lions (AP-10 [tie]); The Detroit Tigers' purchase of
Woodie Fryman in early August and his winning 10 games for the Tigers in August and September (AP-10 [tie]); and Michigan's high school basketball championships won by Flint Northern (Class A), River Rouge (Class B), Shelby (Class C), and Ewen-Trout Creek (Class D) (UPI-10).
State office holders
Mayors of major cities
Federal office holders
1970 United States Census, Michigan was recorded as having a population of 8,875,083 persons, ranking as the seventh most populous state in the country. By 1980, the state's population had grown 4.4% to 9,262,078 persons.
The following is a list of cities in Michigan with a population of at least 70,000 based on 1970 U.S. Census data. Historic census data from 1960 and 1980 is included to reflect trends in population increases or decreases. Cities that are part of the Detroit metropolitan area are shaded in tan.
St. Clair Shores Macomb
Royal Oak Oakland
Dearborn Heights Wayne
The following is a list of counties in Michigan with populations of at least 120,000 based on 1970 U.S. Census data. Historic census data from 1960 and 1980 are included to reflect trends in population increases or decreases. Counties that are part of the Detroit metropolitan area are shaded in tan.
Grand Rapids 363,187
Ann Arbor 172,440
Benton Harbor 149,865
Battle Creek 138,858
Port Huron 107,201
Bay City 107,042
1972 Detroit Lions season - The Lions, under head coach Joe Schmidt, compiled an 8-5-1 record and finished in second place in the NFL's Central Division. The team's statistical leaders included Greg Landry with 2,066 passing yards, Altie Taylor with 658 rushing yards, Larry Walton with 485 receiving yards, and Errol Mann with 98 points scored. 
1972 Michigan Wolverines football team - Under head coach Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines compiled a 10-1 record, losing to Ohio State in the final game of the season. The Wolverines were ranked No. 6 in the final AP Poll. The team's statistical leaders included Dennis Franklin with 818 passing yards, Ed Shuttlesworth with 713 rushing yards and 78 points scored, and Paul Seal with 243 receiving yards.  1972 Michigan State Spartans football team - Under head coach Duffy Daugherty, the Spartans compiled a 5-5-1 record. 
The following albums by Michigan artists were released in 1972:
Chronology of events
Births January 19 -
Tyrone Wheatley, NFL running back (1995-2004), in Inkster, Michigan February 16 -
Jerome Bettis, NFL running back (1993-2005) and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, in Detroit March 1 -
Hughes brothers, film directors ( , Menace II Society , Dead Presidents and From Hell ), in Detroit The Book of Eli April 11 -
Jason Varitek, Boston Red Sox catcher (1997-2011) and 3× All-Star, in Rochester, Michigan June 23 -
Selma Blair, actress ( , Cruel Intentions , Legally Blonde ), in Hellboy Southfield, Michigan July 28 - Elizabeth Berkley, actress ( , Saved by the Bell ), in Showgirls Farmington Hills, Michigan
Gallery of 1972 births
Deaths February 28 -
Dizzy Trout, pitcher for Detroit Tigers (1939-1952), 2× All-Star, AL wins leader (1943), MLB ERA leader (1944), at age 56 in Harvey, Illinois March 14 -
Len Ford, AAFC/NFL player (1948-1958) and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, at age 46 in Detroit May 6 -
Lyman Frimodig, the only athlete in the history of Michigan State University to receive ten varsity letters, four each in basketball and baseball and two in football, at age 80 in Lansing, Michigan  August -
Benjamin Van Alstyne, head coach Michigan State Spartans men's basketball (1926-1949), at age 79 in Southfield, Michigan  September 14 -
Harry Kipke, American football player (1920-1923) and coach (1928-1937), at age 73 in Port Huron, Michigan  November 8 - Potsy Clark, American football player and coach (1914-1948), at age 78 in La Jolla, California
Gallery of 1972 deaths
"School Desegregation Top State Story In '72". Escanaba Daily Press (AP story). December 27, 1972. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com.
"Michigan's Top 10 News Stories of '72". Ludington Daily News (UPI story). December 29, 1972. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.
"Tiger pennant bid rated top Michigan sports story of 1972". Traverse City Record-Eagle (AP story). December 28, 1972. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com.
"Daugherty's Resignation Is Top 1972 Sports Story in Michigan". Ironwood Daily Globe (UPI story). December 29, 1972. p. 5 – via Newspapers.com.
^ Riegle switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 1973.
"1972 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"2012 University of Michigan Baseball Record Book" (PDF). University of Michigan. 2012. pp. 22, 78 . Retrieved 2017.
"1972 Detroit Lions Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1972 Michigan Wolverines Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1972 Michigan State Spartans Stats". Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1971-72 Detroit Pistons Roster and Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1971-72 Michigan Wolverines Schedule and Results". SR/CBB. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1971-72 Michigan State Spartans Roster and Stats". SR/CBB. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1971-72 Detroit Titans Roster and Stats". SR/CBB. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"1971-72 Detroit Red Wings Roster and Statistics". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 2017.
"Michigan State Team History". College Hockey News . Retrieved 2017.
"Michigan Tech Team History". College Hockey News . Retrieved 2017.
"Michigan Team History". College Hockey News . Retrieved 2017.
"Lyman Frimodig Dies; Connected With MSU Athletics for 50 Years". Lansing State Journal. May 7, 1972. p. B1 – via Newspapers.com.
"Van Alstyne, Ex-Spartan Coach, Dies". Lansing State Journal. August 9, 1972. p. C1 – via Newspapers.com.
"Death Takes Famed U-M Grid Coach Harry Kipke". The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan). September 14, 1972. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.