Kamala Harris Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Vice President Kamala Harris.


Birth date: October 20, 1964

Birth place: Oakland, California

Birth name: Kamala Devi Harris

Father: Donald Harris, an economics professor

Mother: Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a physician

Marriage: Douglas Emhoff (2014-present)

Education: Howard University, B.A. political science and economics, 1986; University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1989

Religion: Baptist

Other Facts

First African American, first woman and first Asian American to become attorney general of California.

First South Asian American attorney general in the nation.

First Indian American and second African American woman to serve as a senator.

First African American woman to represent California in the Senate.

She is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

Grew up attending a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple.

Her name comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “lotus” flower.


1990-1998 – Serves as deputy district attorney for Alameda County, California.

1998 – Is named managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

2004-2011 – District attorney of San Francisco.

2009 – “Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer” is published.

2011-2016 – Attorney general of California.

January 3, 2017-January 18, 2021 – Serves in the US Senate.

December 5, 2018 – Accepts the resignation of Larry Wallace, a senior aide, after accusations of harassment surface from the time that he worked with her at the California Department of Justice.

January 8, 2019 – Harris’ memoir, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” and picture book, “Superheroes Are Everywhere,” are published.

January 21, 2019 – Announces she is running for president in a video posted to social media at the same time she appears on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

October 30, 2019 – In a memo to staff and supporters, Harris’ campaign manager says the campaign will cut staff and expenses to focus on strategy in Iowa. It will lay off staffers in her Baltimore headquarters and deploy staff from New Hampshire, Nevada and California to Iowa.

December 3, 2019 – Harris ends her 2020 presidential campaign.

March 8, 2020 – Harris endorses Joe Biden for president.

August 11, 2020 – Biden names Harris as his running mate, making her the first Black and South Asian American woman to run on a major political party’s presidential ticket.

November 7, 2020 – Days after the election on November 3, CNN projects Harris is elected vice president, making her America’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president.

January 20, 2021 – Is sworn in as vice president of the United States.

May 28, 2021 – Harris gives the commencement speech at the United States Naval Academy addressing the 2021 graduating class. She is the first woman to give a commencement speech at the school.

November 19, 2021 – Biden temporarily transfers power to Harris while he is under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy. Harris becomes the first woman with presidential power.

April 26, 2022 – The White House announces that Harris has tested positive for Covid-19. She is exhibiting no symptoms. She will isolate and work from the vice president’s residence.

May 27, 2023 – Becomes the first woman to deliver a commencement address at the graduation ceremony at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York.

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