Mr Biden took the oath at the US Capitol which two weeks earlier had been the scene of a deadly insurrection by a pro-Trump mob.
The inauguration of President Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, was carried out within a ring of steel in DC due to increased concerns about the possibility of domestic terrorism. Thousands of National Guard troops patrolled the capital, which was eerily devoid of crowds because of secured checkpoints and the coronavirus pandemic.
While the crowds attending the swearing-in ceremony were sparser than previous years, it was still attended by some of the great and the good. Below, we see who’s who among the VIPs.
1. Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States. The 78-year-old served as vice president to Barack Obama and spent 36 years as a senator for Delaware
2. Kamala Harris, the 49th Vice-President of the United States. The 56-year-old served as a senator for California until recently and is the first woman, Black American and South-Asian American to be elected as vice president.
3. Doug Emhoff, the first-ever Second Gentleman. VP Harris’ husband, an attorney, is also the also the first Jewish spouse of a vice president
4. Cole Emhoff, VP Harris’ stepson, 26. The siblings were named after jazz greats John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald
5. Ella Emhoff, VP Harris’ stepdaughter, 21. The brother and sister call the VP “momala”
6. Former president Barack Obama. The new president’s boss for eight years, the pair became close friends during their time in the White House
7. Former first lady Michelle Obama, who was a powerful campaigner for Joe Biden during the brutal 2020 election year
8. Dr Jill Biden, the First Lady. Dr Biden, 69, intends to continue in her teaching role at a community college. She is thought to be the first First Lady to hold a paying job outside the White House
9. Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, 39. She is a social worker in Maryland
10. Hunter Biden, the president’s son, 50. Mr Biden, an attorney, has publicly battled addiction, while accusations about his past role at a Ukrainian gas firm were used by Donald Trump to attack his father on the campaign trail
11. Lady Gaga. The multi-Grammy winning pop artist performed the National Anthem
12. Lady Gaga’s boyfriend Michael Polansky, an entrepreneur
13. Former president Bill Clinton. The 42nd commander-in-chief, he has spent his post-presidency writing books and on the lucrative speaking circuit
14. Former first lady Hillary Clinton (out of shot). The former secretary of state lost out to Donald Trump in the 2016 election but attended his inauguration
15. Former vice president Mike Pence. The outgoing VP represented the executive branch in absence of former president Donald Trump who refused to attend and flew out of DC to Florida on Wednesday morning
16. The Biden grandchildren - Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie and Robert
1. President Joe Biden
2. Former vice president Mike Pence
3. Former second lady Karen Pence. Unlike former first lady Melania Trump, Mrs Pence attended the event with her husband
4. Justice Sonya Sotomayor. The Supreme Court’s first Latina judge, who administered the oath of office to VP Harris
5. Supreme Court Chief Justice Anthony Kennedy, who administered the oath of office to President Biden
6. Vice President Kamala Harris
7. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff
8. Cole Emhoff, VP Harris’ stepson
9. Ella Emhoff, VP Harris’ stepdaughter
10. Former first lady Laura Bush. Mrs Bush, another former educator married to a president, spent eight years in the White House
11. Former president George W Bush. The Republican predecessor of Barack Obama, he did not openly endorse Joe Biden but distanced himself from Trump’s re-election campaign
12. House Majority Whip and Democratic Congressman from South Carolina, Rep. James Clyburn
13. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, one of the three conservative justices that former president Trump was able to appoint to the Supreme Court