President Barack Obama has awarded an emotional and surprised Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honour.
Mr Obama praised his vice-president for his “faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and your lifetime of service”.
The award comes as both men prepare to leave office when Donald Trump is inaugurated on 20 January.
Mr Biden has said he plans to stay active in Democratic Party politics.
A visibly emotional Joe Biden stood by as Mr Obama heaped praise on what he called the “best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people”.
The medal was awarded with distinction, according to the New York Times.
That additional honour has been reserved in recent administrations for just a handful of recipients, including Pope John Paul II.
Mr Obama joked that the internet would have one last chance to mock the pair’s “bromance”.