Kamala Harris is the current Vice-President of the United States; this is historic in that Harris is the first African-American and the first female to ever hold the position. Harris began her political career as an attorney for the state of California; she has also served as a United States Senator.
Harris ran for president in the 2020 election. Her primary numbers were not favorable; she dropped out of the race in December of 2019. However, she did so after having some memorable moments in regard to debating fellow candidate Joe Biden. In August 2020, just a few months before the November 3rd presidential election, Joe Biden would choose Harris as his running mate. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris went on to defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence for the White House.
|Celebrated Name:||Kamala Harris|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Kamala Devi Harris|
|Birthdate:||October 20, 1964|
|Height:||5 ft. 2 in.|
|Children/Kids:||One stepson, one daughter; Cole and Ella|
|Is Kamala Harris Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||Vice-President of the United States|
|Colleges Attended:||Howard University (1986); UC Hastings College of the Law (1989)|
|Degrees:||Juris Doctor, UC Hastings College of the Law (undergraduate at Howard)|
|Salary:||$235,100 as Vice President|
|Net Worth in 2021:||$7 million (Forbes Estimate)|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, CA to immigrant parents. Her father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was born in India. Kamala’s father is a noted professor emeritus at Stanford University; her mother is a biomedical scientist who has made some important discoveries in the fight for breast cancer.
Harris’ parents divorced when she was about six years of age. Although her mother was her primary caregiver, Kamala and her sister (Maya) maintained a strong relationship with their father.
Harris has spoken often about her childhood and upbringing. She stated that her mother insisted that she learn about both her Asian American roots as well as her African American roots. She has said that her mother understood that, in America, she and Maya would be seen as African American girls, so her mother wanted her to understand that part of her lineage. She also visited her grandparents in India during summer vacations from school.
Harris attended a French-speaking elementary school (in Canada), then the Westmoore High School in Quebec.
Harris would return to the United States to study at Howard University for a Bachelor of Arts degree; she earned a Juris Doctor degree from UC Hastings and passed the bar to become an attorney.
Kamala graduated from Westmore High School, a high school in Quebec, Canada. She returned to the United States to attend Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. Accordingly, Kamala Harris is the first Vice-President to have attended an HBCU. Harris obtained a juris doctor degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in 1989, three years after earning an undergraduate degree at Howard.
Harris’ Height, Weight, Age
Kamala Harris is 5′ 2″ tall and weighs 121 lbs. She turned 57 years old on October 20.
Kamala Harris’ Net Worth
Forbes states that Harris is worth about $7 million; however, this is counting her earnings with husband Dog Emhoff, whom she married in 2014.
Part of Harris’ net worth includes a portfolio which includes her home with Emhoff, a separate home in DC (worth an estimated $5 million “before debt”), and two state pensions in California as well as Emhoff’s retirement accounts.
Harris’ marriage to Emhoff is said to be a major factor in her net worth. Emhoff worked as an entertainment attorney, but took a leave of absence when Harris was recruited to be Biden’s running mate.
Career Prior to Politics
Kamala Harris’ Early Career
Kamala Harris began her career as an attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. She was a prosecutor in Oakland, CA; some have described her as a “progressive prosecutor” while others maintain that Harris is responsible for jailing many African-Americans as a part of a “tough on crime” movement in California at the time.
She was recruited to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office; then, she was invited to practice at the City Attorney of San Francisco office.
Kamala Harris as a Prosecutor
Kamala was the first person of color to be elected to the position of district attorney in San Francisco. When she was elected attorney general of the state of California, she became both the first female and the first African American to hold that position.
She also became a published author during this time. Her book Smart on Crime focused on the issues around criminal recidivism. In 2014, Kamala successfully ran the a United States Senate seat, which, at the time, was held by a woman intending to retire.
Career in Politics
San Francisco District Attorney
Kamala ran for a District Attorney in San Francisco in 2003; her opponent was the incumbent Terence Hallinan. She defeated Hallinan in a runoff election with 56.5 percent of the vote. She successfully ran again in 2007 for the same position; she had no opposition at that time.
Attorney General for the State of California
In 2010, Kamala Harris was elected to the position of a Attorney General for the state of California. She won a re-election for that same office in 2014.
Harris set her sights to become a state Congressperson. She ran for the office of United States Senator; she would be the “junior” Senator if elected. She was elected to the position in 2017. She would not seek election in another state Senator position as she ran for president in 2020. Although she dropped out of the presidential race in early 2019, Harris was tapped by Presidential candidate Joe Biden as his running mate.
Kamala Harris as a United States Senator
In 2016, Kamala ran for the seat a second time. She ran on a platform that called for reforms to immigration as well as criminal justice reform. She is reported to have won re-election “in a landslide.”
Harris’ platform also sought to increase the federal minimum wage. She has also fought as a pro-choice candidate.
Harris is the first Indian American to hold a position in the United States Senate.
Kamala Harris’ Run for the Presidency in 2020
Kamala was one of twenty-eight candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. However, the top four candidates according to polls included Joe Biden, Pete Buiitgieg, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Although Harris dropped out of the race in December 2019, she did qualify to participate in the debate scheduled for that month.
At the debate, Harris gave the eventual Democratic nominee Joe Biden a run for his money. Harris blatantly laid out policies in Biden’s past that were detrimental to a major voting block for the Democratic party – the African American vote. Harris drew Biden out on his stance on integrated busing as well as his policies on the Hyde Amendment and healthcare. Harris famously told Biden (when he implied he didn’t want African American girls bussed into his children’s district” “that little girl was me.”
Harris debated well, but her numbers slipped down into single digits by the middle of October. Some blame the strength of candidates such as Warren, Biden, and Sanders while others believe that Harris wasn’t able to articulate her proposed policies nor why she wanted to run for the office of the president.
Harris herself made a statement on Medium.com in regards to the health of her campaign finances. However, faltering poll numbers also played a part in her decision to bow out of the 2020 presidential race.
Kamala Harris as Vice-President
In the Biden Administration, Harris plays a very removed role as Vice-President. She was assigned the role of “Border Czar” by President Joe Biden. However, she has yet to make a trip to places such as Del Rio or McAllen, Texas. However, she has visited El Paso, which has been described as a very violent border town, even though most immigrants are crossing in either McAllen or Del Rio (both in the Rio Grande Valley).
Harris has been active as a foreign policy delegate for the United States. She has been outspoken on the “border situation” in Belarus; however, this draws ire as Harris appears to be more concerned over a foreign border rather than the United States border (where record numbers of immigrants have crossed into the United States since early 2021).
Unfortunately, rumor abounds that Harris is “hidden” from the spotlight. She has been criticized for responding to press questions with a “cackle;” at the same time, at least thirty of her current and former aides claim that Harris has not been properly prepared for the position she holds.
A recent CNN article cites “Harris confidants” as saying that Harris herself feels “constrained” in her position as to “what she’s able to do politically.”
In recent months, Harris was featured in a promotional video about space exploration. Reports revealed that the children featured in the video were hired, and, in addition to political pundits already describing Harris as lacking personality, it was also revealed that the video was done in an effort to promote Harris through a public relations firm.
At the same time, Harris has accomplished breaking barriers throughout her entire career. She has been “first” in many categories during her time as both a district attorney and a state senator as well as in her role as Vice-President.
Kamala Harris’ Other Business Ventures
Kamala Harris has written or co-written three books:
- The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (there is also a young readers’ edition)
- Superheroes are Everywhere (Kamala Harris and Mechal Renee Roe)
- Smart on Crime