a comprehensive guide to the past and current style of America's first female vice president
Kamala Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan (1938-2009), was biologist born in India who recieved her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and her father, Donald J. Harris (b. 1938), is a Stanford University professor emeritus of economics from British Jamaica.
Below is Kamala's official biography from the "Joe Biden for President" campaign site:
The first Black and Indian American woman to represent California in the United States Senate, Kamala Harris grew up believing in the promise of America and fighting to make sure that promise is fulfilled for all Americans. Kamala’s father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to study economics and her mother emigrated from India. Kamala’s mother told her growing up “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something,” which is what drives Kamala every single day.
Kamala started fighting for working families in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she focused on prosecuting child sexual assault cases. From there, she became the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney. In this position, she started a program to provide first-time drug offenders second chances with the opportunity to earn a high school degree and find a job.
In 2010, Kamala became the first Black woman to be elected California Attorney General, overseeing the country’s second largest Justice Department, only behind the U.S. Department of Justice. In this capacity, she managed a $735 million budget and oversaw more than 4,800 attorneys and other employees. As California Attorney General, Kamala fought for families and won a $20 billion settlement for California homeowners against big banks that were unfairly foreclosing on homes.
Kamala worked to protect Obamacare, helped win marriage equality for all, defended California’s landmark climate change law and won a $1.1 billion settlement against a for-profit education company that scammed students and veterans. Kamala also fought for California communities and prosecuted transnational gangs who drove human trafficking, gun smuggling and drug rings.
Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kamala has introduced and co-sponsored legislation to help the middle class, increase the minimum wage to $15, reform cash bail, and defend the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.
Kamala serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that deals with the nation’s most sensitive national security and international threats. She also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she oversees the federal government’s response to natural disasters and emergencies, including the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19. On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kamala has held Trump administration officials accountable and was a powerful voice against Trump’s conservative judicial nominations.
Kamala graduated from Howard University, where she was in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Kamala has been married to her husband Doug for the past six years. She is the stepmother of two children, Ella and Cole who are her “endless source of love and pure joy.”
In November 2020, Kamala became the vice president-elect of the United States when she and Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the United States' general election.
Kamala became the United States' first female, first Asian-American, and first African-American vice president and the highest-ranking female elected official in American history when she was inaugurated on January 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C.