Born Oct. 20, 1964, in Oakland, California, Harris is the daughter of Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor who immigrated from Jamaica, and Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was a cancer scientist and the daughter of an Indian diplomat. She has a sister named Maya, who is a public policy advocate.
She’s an HBCU grad.
Harris studied political science and economics at Howard University, a historically black university. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 and got her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
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She’s an attorney.
Although she hasn’t practiced since she’s been in office as a senator, Harris was deputy district attorney in Oakland, California, from 1990 to 1998. While there, she specialized in prosecuting sexual assault cases involving children.
From 2004 to 2011, she was the 27th district attorney of San Francisco. She made history in 2010 when she was elected attorney general of California, becoming the first female and first African-American to have the position. She ran again in 2014 and was re-elected.
She’s an author.
Harris wrote “Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor's Plan to Make Us Safer” in 2009. The book examines myths in the criminal justice system and solutions to improve approaches to fighting crime. Her memoir, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” will be released in 2019.
She’s a stepmother of two.
Harris married Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, in 2014, making her stepmother to his children from a previous marriage, Ella and Cole Emhoff.