Kamala Devi Harris is an American politician of Jamaican and Indian descent. She is the first person of Asian descent to become the vice president of the United States.
Harris is the older between the two daughters of Donald J. Harris and the late Shyamala Gopalan. Donald is from St. Ann Parish, Jamaica while Gopalan, who died on February 11, 2009, is from Madras, India, which is now called Chennai.
A member of the Democratic Party, Kamala was the running mate of Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which took place amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Biden and Kamala defeated their respective Republican opponents Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who were seeking reelection.
Biden, Pence and Kamala are the respective 47th, 48th and 49th U.S. vice presidents. Here are 13 more things about the Jamaican-Indian-American politician:
- She was born in Oakland, California, USA on October 20, 1964. Her younger sister Maya Harris, who was born on January 30, 1967.
- When she was in kindergarten, she was bused to Thousand Oaks Elementary School in Berkeley, California. As a young girl, she sang in both an African-American church and a Hindu temple in Oakland. She went on to become a member of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, an American Baptist Churches USA congregation.
- In 1971, her parents divorced. She and Maya stayed with their mother in Oakland and visited their father in Palo Alto, California every weekend. In 1978, she, Maya and their mother moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She attended Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a French-speaking primary school in Quebec. In 1981, she graduated from Westmount High School in Westmount, Quebec.
- In 1986, she graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C, USA with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics.
- In 1989, she graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law with a Juris Doctor.
- In 1990, she was admitted to the California Bar and was hired as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California.
- She is the 27th District Attorney of San Francisco, California. She held the position from January 8, 2004 to January 3, 2011.
- She is the 32nd Attorney General of California. She held the position from January 3, 2011 to January 3, 2017.
- On August 22, 2014, she married Douglas Emhoff, also a lawyer. She is a stepmother to his two children from his previous marriage to the film producer Kerstin Emhoff.
- She assumed office as U.S. senator from California on January 3, 2017, making her the first South Asian American and the second African American woman to serve in the U.S. senate. She held the position until her inauguration as the 49th U.S. vice president on January 20, 2021.