A conversation with political pioneer Henry Frye

Henry Frye

Henry Frye is one of the most remarkable and impactful North Carolina political leaders of the past 50 years.

A native of Richmond County, North Carolina, Frye earned his undergraduate degree from NC A&T State University before serving in the US Air Force. He went on to earn a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Frye became an assistant US attorney in 1963, and in 1968 he was the first African-American elected to the NC General Assembly in the 20th century. He served six terms in the NC House and one term in the state Senate.

In 1983, Frye became the first African-American to serve on the NC Supreme Court, first as an associate justice for 16 years and then for two years as chief justice.

Former justice Frye recently shared his powerful experiences and his unique insight into our democracy today with fellow NC A&T alumni John Holdsclaw and Dominique Sanders of Common Cause North Carolina.


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