(CMR) Joe Biden has selected Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate, making the California senator the first Black and South Asian American woman to run on a major political party's presidential ticket. Harris also has a Jamaican father.
Harris is the second African American woman and the first Indian American to serve in the United States Senate. She is also a lawyer and was elected to the United States Senate in 2017.
Donald Harris, Kamala’s father, is a retired leftist Stanford economics professor from Jamaica who studied issues such as income inequality. Her mother who she describes as the most influential person in her life was Shyamala Gopalan. A breast cancer researcher from India she died of colon cancer in 2009. Gopalan was the daughter of an Indian diplomat and a women’s rights activist in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu.
After graduating from the University of Delhi at age 19, she moved to Berkeley to pursue a doctorate in nutrition and endocrinology, having never set foot in the U.S. before. Donald Harris also excelled at a young age, graduating from the University College of the West Indies in Jamaica before going to Berkeley. The pair met protesting in the1960's and married despite going against her traditional Indian norm of arranged marriages.
They divorced when Kamala was young when her dad took a professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gopalan filed for divorce in December 1971, when Kamala was 7, according to court records, and won custody of her daughters in June 1973. “They didn’t fight about money,” Kamala wrote. “The only thing they fought about was who got the books.”
Biden has selected Harris a former primary rival as he now focuses on taking on Donald Trump in the November general election. Harris, 55, is now the third woman to serve as a vice-presidential candidate for a major political party, following Geraldine Ferraro as the Democratic vice-presidential pick in 1984 and Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential pick in 2008.