• University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1959, Board of Editors, Law Review
  • NC A&T State University, B.S., summa cum laude,1953
Bar & Court Admissions
  • North Carolina

Henry E. Frye

Photo of Henry E. Frye
Of Counsel
2000 Renaissance Plaza
230 North Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
T: (336) 271-3188
F: (336) 232-9188

Justice Henry E. Frye focuses his practice on appellate advocacy, mediation and commercial arbitration. He is available for consultation with other lawyers on specific legal and strategic matters.

Justice Frye brings to the firm a wide variety of legal and professional experiences, including over 24 years in the private practice of law, fourteen years in the North Carolina General Assembly, ten years as President of a local bank, two years as an assistant U.S. attorney, two years as a law school professor, and more than seventeen years on the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He was a munitions officer with the United States Air Force in Japan and Korea, and later served as a Judge Advocate General Area Representative with the Air Force Reserve.

In 1968, he became the first African-American to be elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the Twentieth Century. He served in the State House for 12 years and was then elected to a two-year term in the North Carolina Senate.

In 1983, Justice Frye became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He was appointed by NC Governor Jim Hunt to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in September, 1999, another first.

He retired from the Court, effective January 1, 2001 and shortly thereafter became Of Counsel to Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP. Justice Frye is a Visiting Professor of Political Science and Justice at North Carolina A&T State University.

He is a recognized business leader and community advocate. He serves leadership roles in many non-profit, academic, professional and civic organizations, and is continually recognized for his dedication and contributions to state and local communities. 


  • Commercial Arbitration and Mediation, American Arbitration Association

Honors & Awards

  • North Caroliniana Society Award, The North Caroliniana Society, 2008
  • Power of Justice Award, Business Leader Magazine and NC Bar, 2008
  • Distinguished Service Award, Greensboro Bar Association, 2008
  • John J. Parker Award, North Carolina Bar Association, 2007
  • American Judicature Society Justice Award, 2006
  • Citation for Distinguished Public Service, North Carolina Citizens for Business & Industry, 2006
  • William H. Hastie Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship, Judicial Counsel of the NBA, 2004
  • Liberty Bell Award, NC Bar Association, 2004
  • Laurel Wreath Award, Kappa Alpha Psi, 2003
  • William Richardson Davie Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002
  • W. E. B. DuBois Award, Association of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2002
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995
  • Charles McIver Award, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1986
  • R. R. Wright Award, National Bankers Association, 1983
  • Carolina Peacemaker Award, 1983
  • First NC A&T State University Alumni Excellence Award, 1971
  • Honorary Doctorate Degrees: UNC-Greensboro, 2006; Florida Memorial College, 2004; UNC-Asheville, 2003; East Carolina University, 2001; Fayetteville State University, 2000; Livingstone College, 1999; NC A&T State University, 1983; Shaw University, 1971