Malia, his eldest daughter, also was seen wiping away tears.
The Obamas hugged former aides and other audience members long after the speech ended.
"By nearly every measure, America is a better, stronger place than when we started", he said.
"Only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests, have restored the sense of common objective that we so badly need right now". Soon he will head to McCormick Place to give his farewell address, a week before Donald Trump's inauguration. "I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me". "This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it".
Obama is flying to Chicago to give his final presidential speech.
"For some reason, we as Black people are not accepted in certain positions (of power), Cox said".
Social media went insane during President Obama's farewell address Tuesday night for many reasons, but one in particular had people asking, "Where is Sasha?". "I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a goal to my life", Obama was set to say, according to excerpts released by the White House.
Trump's attorney general pick claims ignorance on tech issues
Sessions side-stepped the question, telling Blumenthal: "I'm not aware of the precise factual situation that would be in play". In 1986, accusations of racially insensitive statements led the Senate to block Sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship.
However, it seems Mr Obama is already enjoying some downtime in his busy final days in office.
"Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic", Obama said, though he insisted race relations are better now than a few decades ago.
These two moments, paired with the President's kind words for his VP Joe Biden were by far the most touching and heartfelt moments of his speech.
Obama then continued the stirring tribute to his family by moving to his daughters-even though Sasha was not in attendance because she has a report due in the morning and this is a school night. The White House did not explain the absence.
At one point during her husband's speech in Chicago, Illinois, the president thanked his wife for taking on "a role you didn't ask for".
Obama thanked the men and women serving the country, saying that it has been "the honor of my lifetime to be your Commander-in-Chief".
He went on: "After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America", he said.