Christian Compton
Asbury Christian Compton (October 24, 1929 – April 9, 2006) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 attorney and judge who served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia
Supreme Court of Virginia
The Supreme Court of Virginia is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It primarily hears appeals from the trial-level city and county Circuit Courts, as well as the criminal law, family law and administrative law cases that go through the Court of Appeals of Virginia. It is one of...

 from 1974 until 2000, and as a Senior justice until his death.

Compton was a native of Ashland
Ashland, Virginia
Originally known as Slash Cottage, Ashland is located on the Old Washington Highway U.S. Route One and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, a busy north-south route now owned by CSX Transportation...

 in Hanover County, Virginia
Hanover County, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 86,320 people, 31,121 households, and 24,461 families residing in the county. The population density was 183 people per square mile . There were 32,196 housing units at an average density of 68 per square mile...

, and graduated from Ashland High School in 1946. Compton earned his B.A. in history and politics from Washington and Lee in 1950 and his LL.B. from the Washington and Lee School of Law in 1953. While at Washington and Lee, Compton served as president of Phi Kappa Sigma
Phi Kappa Sigma
Phi Kappa Sigma is an international all-male college social fraternity. Its members are known as "Phi Kaps", "Skulls" and sometimes "Skullhouse", the latter two because of the skull and crossbones on the Fraternity's badge and coat of arms. Phi Kappa Sigma was founded by Dr. Samuel Brown Wylie...

 fraternity, class officer and captain of the basketball team. He was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa
Omicron Delta Kappa
Omicron Delta Kappa, or ΟΔΚ, also known as The Circle, or more commonly ODK, is a national leadership honor society. It was founded December 3, 1914, at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, by 15 student and faculty leaders. Chapters, known as Circles, are located on over 300...

, the lacrosse team, Phi Alpha Delta
Phi Alpha Delta
ΦAΔ , or P.A.D., is the largest co-ed professional law fraternity in the United States of America. Phi Alpha Delta has members who are university students, law school students, lawyers, judges, senators, and even presidents. It was founded in 1902 and today has over 300,000 initiated members...

 legal fraternity, the University Glee Club
Glee club
A glee club is a musical group or choir group, historically of male voices but also of female or mixed voices, which traditionally specializes in the singing of short songs—glees—by trios or quartets. In the late 19th Century it was very popular in most schools and was made a tradition...

 and the Cotillion Club.

Compton served in the U.S. Navy from 1953–1956 and the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1953-1961. He practiced law in Richmond with May, Garrett, Miller, Newman and Compton from 1957-1966.

In 1966, Gov. Mills Godwin appointed Compton to the Law & Equity Court of the City of Richmond and then to the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1974. The General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members,...

re-elected him to another term in 1987. He retired from the Supreme Court in February 2000 and began service as a senior justice.

Compton maintained strong ties to Washington and Lee throughout his career. He served as president of the Alumni Association from 1972-1973. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from his alma mater in 1975. He served member of the Board of Trustees from 1978-1989. He selected most of his law clerks from the top graduates of Washington and Lee School of Law.

Compton was married to Betty Stephenson Compton for 52 years until his death. They had three daughters—Leigh Compton Kiczales, Mary Compton Psyllos, Melissa Compton Patterson; and eight grandsons.
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