Facts about Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris Biography
Kamala Harris is the first woman, as well as the first woman of Black and Indian heritage, to be vice president of the United States.
Kamala Harris grew up in central California, the child of two immigrants: a father from Jamaica and a mother from India. She earned her undergraduate degree at Howard University (1986) and her law degree from Hastings College of Law (1989). During the 1990s, she worked as a prosecutor in Alameda County and in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.
Harris was elected District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003 and re-elected in 2007. She was then elected as California’s Attorney General in 2010 and again in 2014. Harris was a high-profile District Attorney and Attorney General, making headlines for refusing to push the death penalty and for ignoring the popular vote on a referendum to ban gay marriage. She also earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor and reformer.
She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, taking over for Democrat Barbara Boxer, who retired. She announced her candidacy for U.S. president on January 21, 2019. She ended her campaign on December 3, 2019, saying in part that she could not raise the millions of dollars needed to continue.
Eight months later, Joe Biden picked her as his vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket. They ran against Republican incumbents Donald Trump and Mike Pence and defeated them in the November general election. Harris and Biden took office on January 20, 2021.
Kamala Harris was the second black woman elected to the U.S. Senate; Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois was the first, serving from 1993-99… Kamala Harris married lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014; they have no children together, but Emhoff has two children from a prior marriage… Kamala Harris dated Willie Brown when he was Speaker of California’s State Assembly (she was 29 and he was 60 when they met)… Her first name is pronounced “COMMA-lah.”