Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris comes from a family of lawyers and Stanford graduates. Meet the family.
Kamala Harris with her husband's daughter and niece. Mason Trinca / Getty Images
On Wednesday, Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence attended the only Vice Presidential Debate for the 2020 election cycle.
Born to immigrant parents from Jamaica and India, Harris is the first black woman and the first Indian-American woman to appear on a Democratic ticket.
We looked at Harris's extended family, who have five attorneys and several Stanford graduates.
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Kamala Harris representatives did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request to comment on this article.
On August 11, Joe Biden announced that he had selected Kamala Harris to be his fellow campaigner for the 2020 presidential election.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images
Kamala Harris, 55, is a California Democratic Senator serving on the Justice, Intelligence, Security, and Government Affairs committees and Senate budget committees.
Prior to joining the Senate, she served as the San Francisco District Attorney and Attorney General of California from 2004 to 2017.
During her tenure in the Senate, Harris received praise for her famously fiery questioning during the hearings. Celebrities like Attorney General Bill Barr and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have found themselves on the other end of their law enforcement questions.
Harris launched her own offer for the president in 2019 before ending her campaign in December due to lack of funding.
Harris and her younger sister Maya were raised by their late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris.
Kamala Harris' sister Maya (left) and Kamala Harris (center). Alex Wong / Getty Images
When news broke that Joe Biden had selected Harris as his fellow campaigner for the 2020 election, Maya shared a moving tweet from Harris talking about her late mother. "You can't know who @KamalaHarris is without knowing who our mom was. She is missed terribly, but you know she and the ancestors are smiling today," she wrote.
Shyamala Gopalan Harris, the daughter of an Indian diplomat, moved from India to the United States in the 1960s to study nutrition and endocrinology at the University of California at Berkeley.
Gopalan Harris spent her career in cancer research, working at various institutions including McGill University and the University of Illinois. Per Forbes, some of her most important work was in breast cancer research.
She died of colon cancer in 2009 a few months after she was 70 years old. "One of the last questions she asked the hospice nurse was, 'Will my daughters be OK?' She was focused on being our mother until the end, "Harris wrote in a New York Times statement.
"There was never a question that they were Indian. I don't think she felt conflicted about it. She told the girls, 'You're Indian; you're [B] deficiency. You don't have to prove you are you're one or the other, "a family member told the Los Angeles Times.
Donald Harris, Harris' father, was a professor of economics at Stanford University for over two decades before retiring in 1998.
Kamala Harris's father, Donald Harris, was an academic. Courtesy Donald J. Harris
Donald Harris was born and raised in Jamaica. In the 1960s, he moved to the United States to study economics at the University of California at Berkeley. There he met Harris' mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris during the protests on campus.
Gopalan Harris and Donald separated when Harris was 5 years old and divorced when she was 7 years old. Casey Tolan wrote for Mercury News that Harris' mother had custody of their two daughters. The girls saw their father on vacation.
Tolan describes Donald as "a retired left-wing Stanford economics professor from Jamaica who studied issues such as income inequality". The report also refers to an article published in the university newspaper in 1976 describing him as "too charismatic" and "pied piper" for his students.
On his Stanford side, Donald has worked extensively on Jamaica's economy and has acted as an advisor to the country's government. He is a naturalized US citizen.
While appearing on The Breakfast Club radio show in February 2019, show host Charlamagne asked tha God Harris if she was against legalizing marijuana, to which she replied, "Half of my family are from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?"
In response to her response, Donald posted a comment on Jamaica Global Online: "My dear late grandmothers (whose extraordinary legacy I recently described in an article on this website) as well as my late parents must turn right to see the name now , her family's reputation and proud Jamaican identity are in any way joking or unrelated to the deceptive joy-seeker stereotype and pursuit of identity politics. "
Harris has been married to Attorney Douglas Emhoff since 2014.
Douglas Emhoff and Kamala Harris attend the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February 2015. Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic
Emhoff, partner at DLA Piper, is active in the fields of business, real estate and intellectual property and represents both companies and individuals.
The couple met on a blind date and live in Los Angeles.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the couple lived in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles and owned homes in San Francisco and Washington DC. Zillow and WSJ estimate the combined value of the properties is $ 8 million.
Through Emhoff, Harris has two stepchildren - Cole and Ella, both in their twenties, whom they call "Momala".
Cole graduated from Colorado College in 2017, according to O Magazine. Ella is studying clothing and textiles at the Parsons School of Design in New York.
Harris' younger sister Maya is a lawyer.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) with sister and advisor Maya Lakshmi Harris, right, as she prepares to sit in a crowded banquet room of colored during the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit March 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada Women talk. 2019.
Maya, who is two years younger than Harris, has been an almost constant source of support for her older sister. She has cheered Harris both online and at numerous campaign events since Harris first announced she would run for the presidency.
Christopher Cadelago wrote for Politico in 2019 that "political guys" see Maya as Harris' Bobby Kennedy.
And 2020 isn't the first mess for Maya in a presidential election - she was a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton in 2016. She also served in leadership roles at the Ford Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, Yahoo News reported.
She edited the 2010 book The New Jim Crow and worked as an analyst for MSNBC.
Maya said in an essay for The Atlantic that she suffered from the autoimmune disease lupus. She shared her personal experience with the disease and criticized President Trump for promoting hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19.
Maya is married to Tony West. He is currently Uber's Chief Legal Officer.
Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Civil Division Tony West during the 2009 Senate Judiciary hearing on Health Fraud. Scott J. Ferrell / Congressional Quarterly / Getty Images
Maya and West met at Stanford University in the late 1980s, though they didn't start dating until after graduating.
Between 2009 and 2014, West served as assistant attorney general and assistant attorney general in the civil division of the Obama administration's Justice Department.
In 2014, he became General Counsel of PepsiCo.
According to West's Twitter profile, the couple live in San Francisco, California.
Maya's daughter, Meena, is a Harvard and Stanford graduate. She started the clothing line "Phenomenal Woman" in 2017.
Meena Harris attends the We Vote Next Summit event presented by Eighteen X18 at the TOMS Corporate Office on September 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Paul Archuleta / Getty Images
Business Insider's Dominic-Madori Davis previously reported that the goal of the clothing line, whose name is inspired by Maya Angelou's iconic poem, is to highlight social justice.
The project began shortly after President Trump's inauguration in 2017 with the release of T-shirts with the words "phenomenal woman" printed on the front.
35-year-old Meena published a book earlier this year called "Kamala and Maya's Big Idea," based on a true story about Kamala and Maya building a play area for other children.
According to her LinkedIn page, she has worked in various roles for tech companies such as Slack, Uber, and Facebook, as well as for her aunt.
Meena is married to Nikolas Ajagu and they have two young daughters, aged four and two. Ajagu is currently the global director of advertising technology at Facebook, where Meena worked in the mid-2000s.
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