Kamala Harris has made history by becoming the first female vice-president-elect.
The California senator will also be the first black and the first Asian American vice-president.
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents – an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.
After her parents’ divorce, Kamala Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist.
She grew up engaged with her Indian heritage, joining her mother on visits to India, but Kamala Harris has said that her mother adopted Oakland’s black culture, immersing her two daughters – Kamala and her younger sister Maya – within it.
Her early years also included a brief period in Canada. When her mother took a job teaching at McGill University, Kamala and her younger sister Maya went with her, attending school in Montreal for five years.
She attended college in the US, spending four years at Howard University, one of the nation’s preeminent historically black colleges and universities, which she has described as among the most formative experiences of her life.
Kamala Harris, 55, says she’s always been comfortable with her identity and simply describes herself as “an American”.
In 2014, she married lawyer Doug Emhoff – now a fixture at her campaign stops – and became stepmother to his two children.
After four years at Howard, Kamala Harris went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings, and began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
She became the district attorney – 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, the top lawyer and law enforcement official in America’s most populous state.
In her nearly two terms in office as attorney general, Kamala Harris gained a reputation as one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars, using this momentum to propel her election as California’s junior US senator in 2017.