Joe Biden Pays Tribute to Betty White on Special Celebrating Her Life: 'An American Treasure'

President Joe Biden issued kind words about the late Betty White on NBC’s Celebrating Betty White: America’s Golden Girl special on Monday, calling the beloved actress “an icon and a pioneer”

President Joe Biden
Photo: David Lienemann/Getty Images; Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Joe Biden was among the slew of celebrities and public figures who paid tribute to the late Betty White on Monday, who died a month ago on New Year's Eve. She was 99 years old.

During an appearance on the NBC primetime special, Celebrating Betty White: America's Golden Girl, the 46th President of the United States offered up sweet words about the legendary actress, reflecting on the impact she had on the world for nearly a century.

"Betty White was an American treasure. An icon and a pioneer. She challenged conventions. With every laugh and smile she opened our hearts," Biden, 79, said. "But above all, she moved our souls, and the soul of our nation. What a gift we'll always treasure. God bless you, Betty. We all love you."

Betty White
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Other notable figures who appeared on the special included Drew Barrymore, Valerie Bertinelli, Cher, Bryan Cranston, Ted Danson, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Goldie Hawn, Vicki Lawrence, Jane Leeves, Jay Leno, Anthony Mackie, Wendie Malick, Joel McHale, Tracy Morgan, Jean Smart, Mary Steenburgen and more.

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According to a death certificate obtained by PEOPLE, White died on Dec. 31, six days after suffering a stroke. She was set to celebrate her 100th trip around the sun on Jan. 17.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," her agent and friend Jeff Witjas said in a previous statement.

RELATED VIDEO: Betty White, The 'Golden Girls' and 'Hot in Cleveland' Star, Dead at 99

"I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much," he continued. "I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again."

Speaking with PEOPLE ahead of her centennial year, White opened up about how she was feeling about turning 100.

According to White, being "born a cockeyed optimist" was the key to her upbeat nature. "I got it from my mom, and that never changed," she said. "I always find the positive."

Additionally, the entertainment icon shared her secret to longevity, jokingly telling PEOPLE, "I try to avoid anything green. I think it's working."

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