It’s a monumental day for our country. Today, President Joe Biden is being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States along with his Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris, a former presidential rival of Biden, joined the Democratic ticket as Biden’s running mate in August Now, she’ll be the first Black woman and the first person of South Asian descent to hold national office by a major party.
In honor of this historic moment — and in order to get to know our Vice President a little bit better — here are eight things about Kamala Harris you probably didn’t know, but should.
She is the daughter of immigrants
Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland California to Shyamala Gopalan Harris and Donald Harris. Her father was a renowned economics professor at Stanford and her mother was a leading cancer researcher. Before coming to the US, her father grew up in Jamaica and her mother was raised in India.
She inspired a children’s book
Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris is the author of Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea — an inspiring tale about two sisters who work with their community to inspire change. The idea for the book was inspired by a true story from Kamala Harris’ childhood.
She has written three books
In addition to inspiring a children’s book, Kamala Harris also wrote one of her own called Superheroes Are Everywhere. She is also the author of The Truths We Hold: An American Journey and Smart on Crime.
She wants to give every new parent six months of paid leave
When Harris was running for president, she proposed the most generous family leave policy of all the candidates. As part of her “Children’s Agenda,” Harris wants to extend the current Family and Medical Leave Act that allows all U.S. workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to allow all new parents and caretakers six months of paid leave.
She’s a stepmother
Harris married her husband Douglas Emhoff in 2014. Emhoff has two adult children named Cole and Ella who lovingly call Harris Momala.
She loves dogs
While Harris herself doesn’t own a pet, she is quite fond of them and warmly welcomes them into her office.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) April 11, 2019
She attended middle school and high school in Montreal
When Harris’ mom got a teaching job in Montreal while she was in middle school, Harris left with her mom to attend school in Canada. After high school, Harris left Canada to attend college in Washington D.C.
She became the first Black woman in California to be elected district attorney
Harris ran for district attorney in San Francisco in 2003 against her former boss and incumbent Terence Hallinan. She was elected with 56.5 percent of the vote and became the state’s first Black female district attorney.
Congratulations to Kamala Harris!
A version of this story was originally published in August 2020.
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