Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.
She has made history as the first woman, the first black woman and the first South Asian to hold the office.
The culmination of Harris’ historic run with President Joe Biden first began with her own 2020 Democratic nomination in January 2019.
Through the numerous debates and media appearances that followed, voters learned a lot about Harris’ political views and values, but here are 10 things you may not know about the vice president:
1. she is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants:
Harris was born Oct. 20, 1964, at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California, the daughter of Indian-American immigrant and b****t cancer researcher Dr. Shyamala Gopalan and Jamaican-born Donald Harris, a professor emeritus of economics at Stanford.
2 She loves to cook:
“As a kid, I remember hearing the pots and smelling the food, and like I was in a trance, I’d go into the kitchen and see all these incredible things happening,” Harris recalled in a May 2020 Glamour interview. “My mother used to say to me, ‘Kamala, you obviously love to eat good food. You should learn how to cook.'”
She did just that, and now the politician regularly shares her cooking skills, recipes and love of Sunday dinner on social media.
3. She’s an avid reader:
While running as a Democratic candidate for president in 2019, Harris was the first to respond to Book Riot’s request for her favourite books, or those that have most influenced her in her life.
4. She has accomplished several firsts in California:
From 2004 to 2010, Harris was the first female district attorney in San Francisco history and the first African American and South Asian American in California to hold the office, according to the state Department of Justice.
After two terms, she then became the first African American and first woman elected California attorney general.
5 She and Beau Biden were friends:
Before she became Biden’s running mate, Harris met the former vice president through his late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
The pair became friends while Harris was California attorney general, and Beau served in the same position for the state of Delaware, namely bonding over their work during the Great Recession of 2008 and the 2011 housing crisis.
6 She was California’s first woman and first black attorney general:
After narrowly defeating Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to become attorney general in November 2010, Harris immediately drew attention to herself by withdrawing from settlement negotiations with five of the nation’s largest financial institutions over improper mortgage practices, only to eventually settle for five times the amount originally proposed.
As attorney general, Harris created Open Justice, an online platform that makes criminal justice data available to the general public.
The database has helped improve police accountability by listing the number of deaths and injuries to people in police custody.
It also led the creation of “Operation Boo,” a mandatory curfew for all homeless s*x offenders on Halloween.
7 Biden and Harris clashed during the Democratic primaries before teaming up in 2020:
Harris announced she was running for president in January 2019. A highlight came during the first Democratic debate when Harris confronted her future running mate about his position on cross-district busing in the 1970s and delivered a rousing anecdote that ended with the line, “And that little girl was me,” which instantly became a viral sensation.
The resulting surge in poll numbers didn’t last, however; Harris ended her campaign in December and endorsed Biden in March 2020.
He announced Harris as his VP pick in August, saying, “Back when Kamala was attorney general, she worked closely with (my son) Beau.
I watched them take on the big banks, lift up working people and protect women and children from abuse. I was proud then, and I am proud now, to have her as my partner in that campaign.
8. Harris organized a successful protest at the age of 13.
9. she was a member of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha:
While attending Howard University in 1986, Harris joined the HBCU chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, the first established Black Greek Letter Organization for women.
One way Harris honoured her connection to the Divine Nine – the council of nine historically black sororities – on the campaign trail was by wearing a beaded necklace representing the 20 founders of the sorority.
10 She has written three books:
In 2009, Harris, who had been elected San Francisco district attorney six years earlier, published her first book, Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer, which focused on criminal justice reform.
Ahead of the launch of her 2019 presidential campaign, Harris introduced voters to her values in The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, which includes a mix of career highlights and personal philosophy.
“A patriot is not someone who approves of our country’s behavior no matter what it does,” she wrote in an excerpt from O. “It’s someone who fights for the country’s ideals every day, no matter the cost.”
Also in 2019, she published an illustrated children’s book, Superheroes Are Everywhere, aimed at readers ages three to seven.
In the book, she wrote about how being a hero is more about choices and character than capes. “Heroes stand up for what is right.
Who stands up for what’s right in your life?” the book asks, introducing children to the heroes in Harris’ life, O said.