After weeks (months?) of waiting, we finally know for sure that Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s VP pick. According to CNN, the senator from California is the first Black and South Asian American to run on a major party ticket. “I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021,” Biden said in an email about his decision.
We already know about Harris’ many career accolades. According to her bio, Harris is a U.S. senator since 2017, and the 55-year-old serves on numerous high-profile committees, including Homeland Security. The Howard University and University of California, Hastings graduate worked her way up in various district attorney offices. She ascended to the position of California’s Attorney General, where she served two terms.
But what is lesser known is about Harris’ family life.
Kamala Harris' husband is an entertainment lawyer
Douglas Emhoff, who hails from Brooklyn, has been married to Kamala Harris since 2014. According to Town & Country, the entertainment lawyer stood faithfully by his wife’s side during her presidential bid and subsequent decision to end her campaign. The University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law grad now works at DLA Piper Law Firm.
But it’s clear Emhoff has a sense of humor despite his pedigree. Consider his Twitter profile, which reads, “dad, @kamalaharris hubby, lawyer, wannabe golfer, advocate for justice and equality” (via Oprah Mag).
He reportedly met Harris on a blind date, and proposed to her in a low-key way, and they subsequently wed at a courthouse. As evidenced from Emhoff’s many tweets supporting his wife, it’s clear the 55-year-old deeply loves Harris. “I’ve got you. As always,” he posted after she decided to end her campaign for president.
Kamala Harris is a mom to two step kids
Emhoff has two kids from his previous marriage, Ella and Cole. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Harris brought cookies the first time she met Cole and Ella, who as she wrote for a piece in Elle, “are named after John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald.” Harris also wrote, “As a child of divorce, I knew how hard it could be when your parents start to date other people. And I was determined not to insert myself in their lives until Doug and I had established we were in this for the long haul.”
She really wanted to avoid disappointing the kids if things didn’t work out, so when the day finally came to meet the duo, she remembered that she had intense butterflies. She brought along cookies with a ribbon tied around the tin, and wondered, “Would the kids think the cookies were really nice or really weird? Was the ribbon too much?” As it turns out, things went smoothly, and she’s developed a wonderful relationship with her stepchildren.
Harris calls Ella and Cole brilliant and funny kids, and even goes so far as to write, “I was already hooked on Doug, but I believe it was Cole and Ella who reeled me in.” She sweetly adds, “They are my endless source of love and pure joy.”
According to Vogue, Cole graduated from Colorado College last year and is now working at William Morris Endeavor. Meanwhile, Ella attends Parsons School of Design. The duo adorably calls Harris their “S-Mamala.”
Kamala Harris' parents are impressive, too
According to Vogue, Kamala Harris was born in 1964 to immigrant parents and fellow Berkeley grads. Her mom was Shyamala Gopalan Harris, an Indian-American who became a leading cancer researcher and activist (via Marie Claire). She passed away from cancer in 2009. Her dad was Donald Harris, an economics student who hailed from Jamaica. After her birth, her parents would often bring her and her sister along to civil rights marches.
Harris and her sister Maya were essentially raised by her mother as her parents would later divorce when she was just a child. Her mother set high expectations for the sisters, who could only watch television if they were also doing something else productive at the same time. “I have no idea how many blankets Kamala must have crocheted,” Maya told Vogue. “She was the mad crocheter.”
The would-be vice president is quick to say her mom inspired her and does to this day. Upon deciding to run for president, she posted this message to Twitter, “Thinking of my mother today. She was smart, fierce, and my first campaign staffer — and I dearly wish she was here with us for this moment. Her spirit still drives me to fight for our values.”
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