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US Presidential election 2020: Who is Kamala Harris? All you need to know about Joe Biden's running mate

Kamala Harris was born to two immigrant parents: a black father and an Indian mother. Her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica, and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher, and civil rights activist, hailed from Chennai

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | August 12, 2020 | Updated 14:06 IST
US Presidential election 2020: Who is Kamala Harris? All you need to know about Joe Biden's running mate
Kamala Harris (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

Democratic presidential candidate for the US election 2020 Joe Biden, on Wednesday, named Kamala Harris as his running mate. Harris is the first black, first Indian-American, and the first Asian-American woman on a major US party ticket.

The 55-year-old California senator has become the third woman to be selected as vice president on a major party ticket. Then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 were the other two.

Here is all you need to know about Kamala Harris:

1. Kamala Harris childhood

Harris was born to two immigrant parents: a black father and an Indian mother. She was born in Oakland and grew up in Berkeley. Her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica, and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher, and civil rights activist, hailed from Chennai. After her parents divorced, Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother. Harris has a younger sister named Maya Harris. Harris grew up embracing her Indian culture but lived a proud African-American life. She often joined her mother on visits to India.

2. Kamala Harris education

The 55-year-old spent her high school years living in French-speaking Canada - while her mother taught at McGill University in Montreal. She then attended college in the US, spending four years at Howard University. After Howard, she went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings.

3. Kamala Harris political career in the US

Harris began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. She became the top prosecutor for San Francisco in 2003, before being elected the first woman and the first black person to serve as California's attorney general in 2010.

During her nearly two terms in office as attorney general, Harris gained a reputation as one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. She was elected California's junior US senator in 2017.

As a senator, Harris supported healthcare reform, citizenship for undocumented immigrants, ban on assault weapons, and progressive tax reforms, among others. Last year, in December, she ran for the  Democratic nomination for US President. However, Harris ended her campaign citing the shortage of funds.

Around 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year's presidential election, according to research firm CRW Strategy. In the 2016 presidential election, 77 per cent of Indian Americans voted for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.

President Donald Trump has been seeking to win over Indian voters. However, it is believed that Harris' nomination will prevent Indian-American voters from moving away from the Democratic Party towards Trump.

Also read: Joe Biden selects Indian-origin senator Kamala Harris as running mate

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