Kamala Harris has spent two decades in her life notching up a long list of things she was first to achieve; the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in California history, first woman to be California’s attorney general, first Indian American senator and now the first Black woman and first Asian American voted as the Vice President of the United States.
What are other things you need to know about the woman who is breaking the highest glass ceilings in American life? Let’s see 10 interesting facts about Kamala Harris:
1. Kamala Harris is of Jamaican and Indian descent
She was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964. Kamala Harris is the eldest of two children born to Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from India and Donald Harris, an economist from Jamaica. She often visited India while growing up .
2. Her mother is the daughter of an Indian diplomat
Her father who was Jamaican taught at Standford University and her mother who was a cancer researcher is the daughter of an Indian diplomat. Her younger sister, Maya is a public policy advocate.
3. Kamala Harris attended Howard University
She attended a historically black college, Howard University in Washington, D.C. She majored in political science and economics and also is a member of a prominent black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
4. She joined the Alameda Country prosecutor’s office in Oakland
In 1990, after passing the bar, Kamala Harris joined the Alameda County prosecutor’s office in Oakland as an assistant district attorney focusing on sex crimes. She worked for San Francisco’s City Attorney Louise Renne as the chief of the Community and Neighbourhood Division where she specialised in prosecuting child sexual assault cases.
5. She’s U.S. senator representing California since 2016
She’s serving on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. She’s also the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget.
6. The first African American woman to be elected district attorney of San Francisco
She was the first African American woman to be elected district attorney of San Francisco and served from 2004 until 2010. She served as the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017, becoming the first woman, first African American and first Asian American to serve as California’s attorney general.
7. Her motto comes from her mom: “You may be the first, but make sure you’re not the last.”
In a speech Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, Kamala Harris said “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. “
“And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before. And we will applaud you every step of the way.”
8. She argues that her identity makes her uniquely suited to fight for people who have been traditionally ignored
Her Black identity has allowed her to speak in personal terms in a year of reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism.
9. Her family was initially skeptical of the career choice
Her family was initially skeptical of the career choice. While she acknowledged that prosecutors have historically earned a bad reputation, she said she wanted to change the system from the inside.
10. She was the fourth woman to appear on a major political party’s presidential ticket
Kamala Harris was the fourth woman to appear on a major political party’s presidential ticket, following Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, Republican No. 2 Sarah Palin in 2008 and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. However, she is the first to win.