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Need to Know: Who is Kamala Harris?

Senator Kamala Harris announced that she plans to run for President of the United States in 2020. Check out some facts about the Senator running for President.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) announced Jan. 21 that she is going to run for President of the United States.

The day of her announcement was also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which for Harris is significant, because her parents met during the civil rights movement in the 1960s and met Dr. King.


Harris began her career as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County. She then went on to be the District Attorney of San Francisco in 2004.

In 2011, she started in the position of Attorney General for the State of California. She successfully ran for United States Senate in 2016. 

Harris ran with a focus on five topics: Civil rights, criminal justice reform, environment, foreign policy, and higher education. In her time as a senator, Harris has introduced 73 bills and worked on a total of 453 bills. 

She currently serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget 


Harris attended Howard University, where she studied political science and economics. She was known for her election onto the liberal arts student council at Howard, being on the school's debate team, and pledging the Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

She graduated with her bachelor's degree in 1986. Her education continued at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, ultimately obtaining her law degree from there in 1989.

Harris was admitted to the California State Bar in 1990.


Harris told Good Morning America that her mother and father met during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Shyamala Gopalan Harris, her mother, was a breast cancer scientist who emigrated from India. Donald Harris, her father, is an economics professor at Stanford University who emigrated from Jamaica.

Harris was born in 1964 in the City of Oakland. 

When she was 7-years-old, Harris' parents divorced and her mother had custody of Harris and her sister Maya Harris. They then moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada so her mother could teach at McGill University and research at Jewish General Hospital.

Harris married Douglas Emhoff in 2014.

Fast Facts

  • Harris is the second black woman to run for President.
  • Harris is the second black woman to be a senator.
  • Harris is the first Indian senator.
  • Harris' networth is somewhere between $581,010 and $1.8 million, according to Go Banking Rates.
  • According to Open Secrets, Harris's top contributors to her campaign for office from 2013 to 2018 were Warner Media Group, University of California, and Alphabet Inc. She raised a total of $21,500,968 in that time.


WATCH: Sen. Kamala Harris announces 2020 presidential run

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