US President Barack Obama said goodbye to the nation Tuesday night, declaring during his farewell address.
His voice at moments catching with emotion, Obama recounted a presidency that saw setbacks as well as successes.
"By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place" than it was eight years ago, Mr Obama said.
The country's first black president, now 55, was first elected in 2008 on a message of hope and change.
His successor, President-elect Donald Trump, has vowed to undo some of Mr Obama's signature policy achievements.
Mr Trump will be sworn into office on 20 January.
Returning to Chicago, where he first declared victory in 2008, Mr Obama is delivering a parting message to Americans after a divisive and vicious election campaign which led to Mr Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The speech will aim to speak to everyone in America, including Trump supporters, White House officials had earlier said.
His trip to Chicago is his last as president, and his 445th journey aboard Air Force One.
More than 20,000 people had been expected to attend the farewell address at McCormick Place, the largest convention centre in North America.
The tickets were given out free, but were selling online for more than $1,000 (£820) each hours ahead of the speech.
First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden are all in attendance.
Presidential farewell addresses have long been an American political tradition.
Former Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton delivered theirs from the White House, while George Bush Senior gave his at the West Point military academy.