Henry Frye Honored with Portrait in Justice Building


The Supreme Court of North Carolina honored Brooks Pierce attorney and former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye Tuesday, Dec. 8, with the unveiling of a commissioned portrait which will be hung in the courtroom in the Justice Building.

The portrait, painted by Greensboro artist Victoria Carlin Milstein, was commissioned to honor Frye’s service as Chief Justice, North Carolina’s highest judicial officer. Court officials, including the seven current justices, other judges from across the state, family and friends attended the event to celebrate Frye’s legacy.

Speakers at the unveiling ceremony included former Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr., U.S. Fourth Circuit Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., and Brooks Pierce partner Jim Williams.

“The North Carolina Supreme Court has been instrumental in shaping our state’s past, present and future,” Frye said. “I am honored to have played a part in its history and to be recognized with this portrait.”

In 1968, Frye became the first African-American to be elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the 20th 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, Frye became the first African-American to be elected to serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, and in 1999 was appointed Chief Justice, another first. After retiring from the Court in 2001, Frye joined Brooks Pierce, where he focuses his practice on appellate advocacy, mediation and commercial arbitration.

“Justice Frye is among the most notable jurists in the history of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina bar,” said Ed Winslow, managing partner of Brooks Pierce. “His membership and contributions to Brooks Pierce have enriched us immeasurably. We are proud to claim him as one of our own.”

Photo Credit: Morrell Pridgen. Photos Courtesy of the Frye Family.

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