What You Need to Know About Kamala Harris's Husband, Douglas Emhoff
Kamala Harris made history in more ways than one when Joe Biden announced her as his running mate, as the senator is the first Black and South Asian-American woman to become the vice presidential nominee of a major party. Though Harris initially entered the political scene back in 2003 as district attorney of San Francisco, and went on to serve as attorney general of California and US senator for the past three years, her historic nomination has sparked renewed public interest in the politician's personal life.
And while Harris would represent a number of firsts as a vice president on her own, her husband, Douglas Emhoff could also become the first-ever second gentleman. Over the years, Harris has become a household name due to her impressive political record, as well as her refusal to be silenced or interrupted by her male colleagues, but Emhoff has kept a lower profile and more recently stepped into the public eye, particularly while campaigning for his wife's vice presidential run. If you'd like to learn more about the potential future second gentleman or even join in on the #DougHive — a group of fans dedicated to supporting him — keep reading to find out more about Emhoff.
— Additional reporting by Ann Marie Alcántara
He's Also a Lawyer
Emhoff is currently a partner at DLA Piper, specializing in media, sports, and entertainment. Based in Century City, CA, and Washington DC, he represents large corporations in business, real estate, and intellectual property disputes. Previously, he was the West Coast managing director at Venable LLP.
While Emhoff is based in LA, he's licensed to practice law in both California and Washington DC. He took the bar exam for the second time in DC and was sworn in on March 10, 2017.
He's Harris's No. 1 Fan
Emhoff is currently on a leave of absence from his firm to dedicate his time to supporting Harris's vice presidential run. Whether it's cheering her on behind the scenes at a rally or campaigning on the ground himself, he is Harris's No. 1 supporter and hype man — just check out his social media, where he's constantly tweeting and 'gramming support for his wife. Ahead of Wednesday night's vice presidential debate, Emhoff tweeted, "I've got you, and you've got this. So proud of you. Love, Dougie," alongside a selfie of the two wearing masks.
"I love that America is getting to know my Doug, and they're seeing who he really is through this campaign," Harris told Marie Claire in a statement. "It's so clear in everything he does: He is someone who loves his family, loves our country, and is incredibly supportive of those around him."
He Met Harris on a Blind Date
In 2013, Emhoff met Harris on a blind date that was set up by their longtime friends Reginald and Chrisette Hudlin, and they quickly fell in love. "The morning after our first date, Doug emailed me with a list of his available dates for the next couple of months," Harris revealed in her memoir, The Truths We Hold. "'I'm too old to play games or hide the ball,' the email read. 'I really like you, and I want to see if we can make this work.'"
Less than a year after they met, in March 2014, Emhoff popped the question in the middle of a very important discussion about whether they should order chicken or shrimp pad thai for dinner.
He Married Harris in August 2014
Harris didn't believe in long engagements, so the two were married just a few months later on Aug. 22, 2014, in a private ceremony at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The senator's sister and fellow lawyer, Maya Harris, officiated the ceremony, while her niece Meena Harris read the poem "Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou.
He Has 2 Children From a Previous Marriage
His son and daughter, Cole and Ella Emhoff, adorably refer to Harris as "Momala," the senator shared in an essay for Elle. 26-year-old Cole currently works in the Los Angeles area, while Ella, who's 21 years old, is studying design in New York. Harris also mentioned in the essay that she and Emhoff's ex-wife, Kerstin, are "dear friends."
Kerstin, a film producer, even volunteered her creative services to Harris's presidential campaign before it ended in 2019. "When [Doug and Kamala] first started dating and [Kamala] was [attorney general of California], I just thought, 'Wow, that's cool. Don't mess this up!,'" she recently told Marie Claire. Harris often jokes that their modern family "is almost a little too functional."
Emhoff and Harris's Tax Return Shows They Earned Over $3 Million in 2019
Prior to the first presidential debate, Biden's campaign released both the former vice president and his running mate's 2019 tax returns. Emhoff and Harris reported more than $3 million in taxable income and paid about $1.2 million in taxes last year. Back in 2019, during Harris's presidential campaign for the 2020 election, she also released 15 years worth of tax returns.