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10 facts about Kamala Harris, America's history-making vice president

She'll be the first Black person, first person of South Asian descent and first woman to hold the title.

WASHINGTON — Wednesday's inauguration day will be the final chapter in what has been a historic election cycle for Kamala Harris.

The soon-to-be vice president of the United States will become the first woman ever to hold the position. She will be the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president.

Here are 10 things you may not know about the 56-year-old Democrat from California:

  1. Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California and grew up in Berkeley.
  2. She is the daughter of immigrants. Her Jamaican father is a professor emeritus at Stanford University, and her mother was a cancer researcher from India. The couple was active in the Civil Rights movement before divorcing when Harris and her sister Maya were children.
  3. Harris’ mother gave her the name “Kamala” as a nod to her Indian roots. The name means “lotus” and is another name for Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, love, beauty, joy and prosperity.
  4. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Howard University where she was on the debate team and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She got her law degree from UC Hastings College of Law.  
  5. Harris served as San Francisco district attorney from 2004-2011 and California attorney general from 2011-2016.
  6. In 2017, she became the second Black woman and the first South Asian-American to be sworn in as a senator.
  7. With her degrees from Howard University, Kamala Harris will be the first vice president to have graduated from a historically Black university. No president has graduated from an HBCU.
  8. Harris and attorney Douglas Emhoff wed in 2014. They met on a blind date and married at the Santa Barbara courthouse, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Harris is the stepmother to his adult children, Cole and Ella, who call her "Momala."

  9. Harris has written three books: The Truths We Hold: An American Journey; Smart on Crime; and the children’s book Superheroes Are Everywhere.

  10. Kamala Harris is the first woman, the first Black person and the first Asian-American person elected vice president of the United States. Her mom left her with a motto that she lives by: "You may be the first, but make sure you're not the last."

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