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In his young days, he lived at Luyang and became famous. In the days of Emperor Cao Rui, he was appointed the gentleman of the Imperial Secretariat (尚書郎), in addition to prefect(縣令) of Luyang. Afterwards he became Gentleman of the Household (中郎) and 中書郎. As one of the legislative bureau of government (中書省, Zhongshu Sheng), he made an associats along with He Yan(何晏), Li Sheng (李勝), Ding Mi (丁謐), Bi Gui (畢軌), and Emperor Cao Rui expelled them all as he thought the faction was useless and vanity. Afterwards Deng Yang could not return to office during the reign of Emperor Cao Rui.
In 239, when Cao Rui asked in his death bed that General-in-Chief(大將軍) Cao Shuang(曹爽) and Grand Commandant (太尉) Sima Yi (司馬懿) should help Cao Rui's successor, Cao Fang. Deng Yang became Administrator of Yingchuan(潁川太守) and afterwards became 大將軍長史, and promoted to 侍中 and 尚書, became one of right hand mans of Cao Shuang.
Afterwards Li Sheng and Deng Yang advised to Cao Shuang to attack Shu Han in order to increase Cao Shuang's reputation. Following their advices, Cao Shuang invaded Shu Han in 244. However Cao Shuang was defeated and could not achieve his aim.
Deng Yang was fond of bribery. In one case, after Zang Ai (臧艾) gave his father's concubine to Deng Yang, Deng Yang appointed Zang Ai (臧艾) to a high office position. Rumor spread that one should give a concubine to Deng Yang in order to be promoted.
In 249, Emperor Cao Fang visited the Gaoping Tombs to pay his respects to the late emperor Cao Rui. Cao Shuang, together with his brothers and close associates, followed Cao Fang on the trip. While they were away, Sima Yi seized the opportunity to launch the military coup. At this Sima Yi's military coup e'tat, Cao Shuang and his brothers surrendered to Sima Yi. Afterwards Cao Shuang and Cao Shuang's brothers and members of his faction were charged with treason, and were all executed by Sima Yi. Deng Yang was one of them.