WASHINGTON — It is not easy to upstage the stars at an event whose headliners include U2, Gladys Knight and George Clooney. But one of the biggest ovations here at the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night went to Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who made his first public appearance since he was brutally attacked in October at his home in San Francisco.
Standing beside Ms. Pelosi in a box above the crowd, Mr. Pelosi smiled and waved to the audience, which included President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and several senior lawmakers and Cabinet officials, as he made his public return in Washington this weekend at several events marking the 45th Kennedy Center Honors.
The black hat and single glove he wore were the only visible remainders of the skull fracture and hand injuries he is recovering from, after he was attacked by an assailant who investigators said had embraced far-right conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric online broke into the Pelosis’ home and attacked him while searching for Ms. Pelosi.
But he could be seen clapping along and swaying with Ms. Pelosi to performances, as the annual event, which pays tribute to lifetime achievements in the arts, paid homage to U2, which includes Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton; Ms. Knight; Mr. Clooney; Tania León, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer; and Amy Grant, the Christian singer-songwriter.
The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 28.