"Sometimes that lonely path paves way for millions," a voiceover intoned, a reference to Paul's long history of pushing libertarian positions both within and outside the Republican Party.
As Paul's image appeared, applause and cheers erupted in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The video included testimonials from Republicans in the House and Senate, including his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who said his dad always has been consistent in his view that "as government grows larger your freedom grows smaller."
The 77-year-old Texas congressman, who challenged Mitt Romney for the party's presidential nod, is retiring this year after serving 22 years in Congress. The Pittsburgh-born doctor also sought the GOP nomination in 2008 and was the Libertarian Party's candidate in 1988.