Who is Kamala Harris?

Joe Biden picked a former presidential campaign rival whose debate performances during the Democratic Party primary hurt his own poll numbers at the time.

But Biden has said that Kamala Harris, a U.S. Senator from California, does not hold grudges and neither does he.

Here is a look at Harris:

A history of firsts

Harris becomes the first Black woman and Indian American to appear on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Firsts are nothing new to her. Harris won a race for California attorney general in 2010. She was the first woman and the first Black person to earn the job.

Before that, she was the first woman elected district attorney for San Francisco.

Personal story

Harris is 55 and was born in California to Donald Harris and Shyamala Gopalan. Her father was a Stanford University economics professor who came from Jamaica, while her mother, the daughter of an Indian diplomat, was a cancer scientist.

Harris has a sister, Maya, who has served as a public policy advocate.

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Family life

Harris married attorney Doug Emhoff in 2014, and she is stepmother to his two children from a previous marriage.

HBCU graduate

Harris studied economics and political science and graduated in 1986 from Howard University, a historically Black university.

Her law degree came from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law.

Published author

In 2009, she authored “Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer.” The book examines myths in the criminal justice system and solutions to improve approaches to fighting crime.

In 2019, she released a memoir, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.”

Credit: Mark Boster

Credit: Mark Boster

Known for questioning

As a former prosecutor, Harris developed a reputation for assertive questioning during Congressional hearings. She had a memorable exchange with Attorney General William Barr, pushing him to say if President Trump or others at the White House pressured him to investigate political rivals.

From rival to running mate

Harris had one of her strongest presidential campaign moments in an attack on Biden. In a debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and criticized his opposition to busing during integration in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”

Biden said the comments mischaracterized his position and noted that he and Harris had a friendly relationship prior to the debate exchange. He has noted how close Harris was with Biden’s late son, Beau, who was the attorney general in Delaware when Harris had the same job in California.

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tough on Trump

Harris has brutally attacked Trump, labeling him a “drug pusher” for his promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, which has not been proved to be an effective treatment and may even be more harmful. After Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests about the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody, Harris said his remarks “yet again show what racism looks like.”