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Kamala Harris is an American politician who served as the Attorney General of California prior to her election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. She was the first Indian American and the second African American woman to serve as a U.S. senator. In November 2020, she became the vice president of the United States.
See the fact file below for more information on Kamala Harris or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Kamala Harris worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964.
- Harris is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian American immigrants. Her parents are Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian American breast cancer researcher, and Donald Harris, a Jamaica-born emeritus professor of economics at Stanford.
- The name Kamala means “lotus” in Sanskrit. It is also another name for the Hindu deity Lakshmi.
- Kamala’s parents divorced when she was seven. Her mother raised her and her sister, Maya, in Berkeley, California.
- When she was twelve, they moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She attended both middle school and high school in Montreal.
- As a child, Harris went to both a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple.
- Upon graduating from high school, Harris began attending Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington, D.C, in 1982.
- She graduated from Howard University in 1986 with a degree in political science and economics.
- Harris then returned to California to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she earned a law degree in 1989.
- While at Hastings College, she served as president of its chapter of the Black Law Students Association.
- She was admitted to the California Bar in June 1990.
- In 1990, Harris worked as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California.
- In 1994, Speaker of the California Assembly Willie Brown, who was then dating Harris, appointed her to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and later to the California Medical Assistance Commission.
- In February 1998, San Francisco district attorney Terence Hallinan recruited Harris as an Assistant District Attorney.
- In 2004, Harris became District Attorney of San Francisco. She served in this post until 2011.
- In 2011, she became the first woman, first African American, and first South Asian American to be elected Attorney General of California. She served in this post until 2017.
- In 2015, Harris declared her candidacy for the U.S. Senate, upon gaining the knowledge that Senator Barbara Boxer, who served as the U.S. Senator for California for 24 years, was retiring.
- Harris won the 2016 election and became the junior United States senator from California from 2017 to 2021.
- Harris sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination but dropped out of the race.
- Then former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden chose Harris as his running mate in August 2020. They won the November 2020 election.
- As Attorney General, she notably created the online platform Open Justice, which made criminal justice data available to the public and consequently improved police accountability.
- During her time as Attorney General, Harris also demonstrated political independence, evident in her refusal to settle a nationwide lawsuit against mortgage lenders for unfair practices, even when under pressure from the Obama administration.
- In her Senate campaign, Harris called for minimum wage increases, protection of women’s reproductive rights, and reforms to immigration policies and criminal justice.
- In her early years in the Senate, Harris served on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee.
- Harris is known for her sharp prosecutorial style of questioning during Senate hearings.
- In June 2017, she drew a great deal of attention for her questioning of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the Russia investigation related to the 2016 presidential election.
- In 2018, she used a similar style of questioning during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
- She became the Vice President of the United States as the Biden-Harris ticket won the 2020 United States presidential election.
- She is the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American vice president in the history of the United States.
PERSONAL LIFE FACTS
- Harris married American lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014.
- She became the stepmother of Emhoff’s two children from his previous marriage: Cole and Ela.
- “Momala” is what Harris is called by her stepchildren.
- Harris met Joe Biden through his late son, Beau Biden.
- Harris became friends with Beau when he served as Delaware’s Attorney General.
- According to the Biden-Harris campaign website, Harris is Black and Indian American.
- According to her senator for California website, Harris is African American and South Asian American.
- She is a Baptist who is a member of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco.
- Harris’s memoir entitled “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey” was published in January 2019.
Kamala Harris Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Kamala Harris across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Kamala Harris worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Kamala Harris who is an American politician who served as the Attorney General of California prior to her election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. She was the first Indian American and the second African American woman to serve as a U.S. senator. In November 2020, she became the vice president of the United States.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Kamala Harris Facts
- Five Words
- Kamala’s Early Life
- Sequence of Events
- Turn Into Truth
- Career Highlights
- Winning News
- Campaign Collage
- Past Presidents
- Interview with a Friend
- Letter to the Vice President
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Use With Any Curriculum
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