1. She is the daughter of immigrants
The former senator’s father, Donald J. Harris, moved to the United States from Jamaica in 1961 to attend the University of California, Berkeley. While studying for his PhD, he met Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian immigrant who went on to conduct cancer research at the university. The pair wed in 1963 and raised daughters Kamala and Maya Harris, now a political analyst for MSNBC, in Berkeley, California. The couple eventually split in 1971.
Kamala’s election to the second most powerful office in the nation is historic, making her the first woman, the first African American and first Asian American to hold the position. Before her mother passed away from colon cancer in 2009, she left Kamala with a powerful motto: “My mother used to have a saying, and she would say to me: ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last,'” Kamala recalled during a January 2019 town hall.Back to top