On Sunday, speaking following his Angelus prayer from St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Pope Francis tapped Gregory to become America's first Black cardinal.
In fact, Archbishop Gregory is the only Black archbishop in the United States.
Since 2005, he had led the Archdiocese of Atlanta, before being appointed Archbishop of Washington, DC in 2019.
The veteran leader was replacing Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned in October 2018, bowing to public anger over his role in the sexual abuse crisis.
Pope Francis confirmed that nine of the 13 new cardinals are under the age of 80, which means they would be eligible to elect his successor.
Pope Francis announced the ceremony to install the new cardinals will take place on November 28.