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Kamala Harris

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Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris official photo (cropped2).jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Vice President-elect of the United States
Assuming office
January 20, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden (elect)
SucceedingMike Pence
United States Senator
from California
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 18, 2021
Serving with Dianne Feinstein
Preceded byBarbara Boxer
Succeeded byAlex Padilla
32nd Attorney General of California
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
GovernorJerry Brown
Preceded byJerry Brown
Succeeded byXavier Becerra
27th District Attorney of San Francisco
In office
January 8, 2004 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byTerence Hallinan
Succeeded byGeorge Gascón
Personal details
Kamala Devi Harris[a]

(1964-10-20) October 20, 1964 (age 56)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Douglas Emhoff (m. 2014)
ParentsDonald J. Harris
Shyamala Gopalan
RelativesMaya Harris (sister)
Meena Harris (niece)
P. V. Gopalan (grandfather)
EducationHoward University (BA)
University of California, Hastings (JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Kamala Devi Harris (born October 20, 1964) is an American politician and lawyer. She is currently the Vice President-elect of the United States after beating Mike Pence in the 2020 election. She served as a United States senator from California from 2017 until 2021.[2] Before she took the position of senator, Harris was the State Attorney General from 2011 to 2017.[3]

On January 21, 2019, Harris announced her candidacy for President of the United States in the 2020 election. She ended her campaign on December 3, 2019. After Joe Biden won the nomination, he picked Harris as his running mate for Vice President.[4] She won the election on November 7.

Early Life

Harris was born at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in Oakland, California[5][6]. She is Tamil Indian American and Jamaican American. Her parents are Shyamala Gopalan Harris (Chennai-born native Tamilian) and Donald Harris. Both Shyamala and Donald Harris studied at the University of California, Berkeley. Harris’ parents divorced in 1971, and in 1976, Harris moved to Canada with her mother and sister. Harris went to college at Howard University in 1986, and got a degree in political science.


In 1989, Harris became a lawyer after studying at Hastings College of Law at the University of California. She worked in the office of the District Attorney of Alameda in 1990. In 1998, Harris left to work for the District Attorney’s office in San Francisco. In 2003, Harris became the District Attorney of San Francisco.

She worked as the Attorney General of California until 2017, when she became a senator for California.[7]

2016 Senate Run

At the start of 2016, Harris said that she would attempt to become senator after Barbara Boxer said that she would not work as a senator for the next term. Harris won the position in 2016, and became a senator on January 3, 2017.[8]

2020 presidential campaign

On January 21, 2019, she officially announced her campaign for President of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election.[9] After months of falling polling numbers and low campaign money raised, she ended her campaign on December 3, 2019.[10]

On August 11, 2020 Biden picked Harris as his running mate. On November 7, the Biden-Harris ticket beat the Trump-Pence ticket making her the Vice President-elect. She will be the first female, first African-American and the first Asian-American.[11][12][13]

Awards and honors

In 2020, Harris and Biden were named Time Person of the Year.[14]


  1. At birth, it was Kamala Iyer Harris. It was corrected two weeks later.[1]


  1. Debolt, David (August 18, 2020). "Here's Kamala Harris' birth certificate. Scholars say there's no VP eligibility debate". The Mercury News. The MediaNews Group Inc.
  2. Wright, Jasmine; Duster, Chandelis (January 18, 2021). "Harris resigns from the Senate ahead of inauguration". CNN. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  3. Shenkman, Kenneth (2018). "Harris, Kamala". World Book Advanced. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  4. "Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate". August 11, 2020.
  5. "What California Knows About Kamala Harris". North Coast Journal. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  6. "Here's Kamala Harris' birth certificate. Scholars say there's no VP eligibility debate". The Mercury News. 2020-08-18. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  7. Newsmakers (2017). "Kamala Harris". Student Resources In Context. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  8. "Kamala D. Harris". Biography in Context. March 8, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  9. Reston, Maeve (January 21, 2019). "Kamala Harris to run for president in 2020". CNN.
  10. Cadelago, Christopher (December 3, 2019). "Kamala Harris drops out of presidential race". Politico. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  11. Zeleny, Jeff; Merica, Dan; Saenz, Arlette (August 11, 2020). "Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate". CNN.
  12. "Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate". Associated Press. August 11, 2020. selecting the first African American woman and South Asian American to compete on a major party's presidential ticket
  13. Stafford, Kat (August 12, 2020). "Kamala Harris' selection as VP resonates with Black women". Associated Press. making her the first Black woman on a major party's presidential ticket ... It also marks the first time a person of Asian descent is on the presidential ticket.
  14. Alter, Charlotte (December 11, 2020). "2020 Person of the Year - Joe Biden and Kamala Harris". Time. Retrieved December 11, 2020.

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