He replaces Chicago's longtime mayor, Richard M. Daley, who held office for 22 years. Arriving at Pritzker Pavilion with his wife, Maggie, Mayor Daley said it was a "wonderful day."
Mayor Daley and Maggie were cheered as they joined Mayor-elect Emanuel and his family; and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill; on stage at Pritzker Pavilion.
The inauguration began with a performance by the Chicago Children's Choir and the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. Grammy-winner Heather Headley then sang the National Anthem.
At 10:15 a.m., the city's website switched photos from Mayor Daley to Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. The actual swearing in ceremony was planned for 11:15 a.m., but was running a bit behind.
Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza was sworn in just before 11 a.m. She then swore in the 50 Ward aldermen, 18 of whom are new, to the Chicago City Council.
City Treasurer Stephanie Neely was sworn in around 11:15 a.m.
Emanuel started his day as he does most others- with a 5 a.m. workout, which includes a one-mile swim, and a small breakfast. His family, who still live in Washington, D.C., where Emanuel served as White House chief of staff for President Barack Obama before returning to Chicago, is in town for the festivities. Emanuel is married with three children.
Following the inauguration, Emanuel will begin his first day in office with an open house at Chicago City Hall. Residents are invited to come and meet the new mayor.
David Axelrod is one of several dignitaries, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, attending Friday's inauguration. He has known Emanuel for years.
"Thirty years ago I was a young reporter, political reporter, Rahm emanuel was a communication's director for the Illinois Public Actions Council. He wanted me to do a story and he chased me down relentlessly until I did the story, including the recovery room where my second child was there. He asked me when I will be back at work. I said, man, this guy is relentless," Axelrod said Monday morning.
Parts of Emanuel's speech were sent out ahead of time. They thank Mayor Daley for his service and focus on Chicago's future, including schools, safety and financial issues.
He is expected to say, "New times demand new answers; old problems cry out for better results. This morning, we leave behind the old ways and old divisions and begin a new day for Chicago. I am proud to lead a city united in common purpose and driven by a common thirst for change . . . To do that, we must face the truth. It is time to take on the challenges that threaten the very future of our city: the quality of our schools, the safety of our streets, the cost and effectiveness of city government, and the urgent need to create and keep the jobs of the future right here in Chicago."
Inauguration held at Pritzker Pavilion
After a weekend of events across Chicago, Mayor Emanuel's inauguration was held at Pritzker Pavilion. It was open to the public and included several dignitaries.
Members of the Chicago's Children's Choir, which performed, spoke with ABC7 before the inauguration began.
"It means a moment in history," Dashawn Wallace, said. Wallace is a member of the West Garfield Park Off the Street Club.
ESTIMATED INAUGURAL SCHEDULE:
10:30 AM Chicago Children's Choir provides opening prelude, "One Day."
Pledge of Allegiance is led by Chicago International Charter School student, DeJuan Brown
Posting of the Colors by the Lane Tech High School Junior Reserve Officers
National Anthem is led by Heather Headley
Invocation is recited by His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago
10:40 AM Swearing-in of City Clerk-elect Susana Mendoza by the Honorable Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice
10:45 AM Swearing-in of City Council by Mendoza
Prayer led by Imam Kareem M. Irfan, President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago
Poetry reading by Chanel Sosa, senior at Innovations High School and 2011 finalist in the poetry slam competition "Louder Than a Bomb."
11:05 AM Swearing in of Treasurer Stephanie Neely by the Honorable Shelli Williams Hayes, Cook County Circuit Court Judge
Prayer delivered by Pastor Charles Jenkins, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
"America the Beautiful" is performed by violinist Clarissa Bevilacqua
11:15 AM Swearing-in of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel by the Honorable Judge Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County
Inaugural Address delivered by Rahm Emanuel
Musical interlude, "We Are," is performed by Chicago Children's Choir
Benediction delivered by Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation
Closing postlude, "Wavin' Flag," is performed by Chicago Children's Choir