On December 17, 2015, the Triad Business Journal reported on the portrait of former North Carolina Chief Justice and Brooks Pierce attorney Henry Frye being hung in the courtroom of the Justice Building earlier this month. The unveiling ceremony included comments by former Gov. Jim Hunt, U.S. Fourth Circuit Judge James Wynn Jr. and Brooks Pierce partner Jim Williams, with seven current N.C. Supreme Court justices and other judges from across the state attending.
In 1968, Frye became the first African-American to be elected to the N.C. House in the 20th century. After 12 years in the state House and then two years in the state Senate, Frye became the first African-American elected to the N.C. Supreme Court in 1983 and in 1999 was appointed chief justice. He retired from the court and joined Brooks Pierce in 2001.
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