Douglas Emhoff, Kamala Harris’ Husband: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Senator Kamala Harris and husband Douglas Emhoff in 2014. (Getty)

Kamala Harris, the junior senator from California, is the latest Democratic candidate to announce she’s running for president in 2020. Harris, 54, announced her candidacy on January 21, Martin Luther King Day, during an appearance on Good Morning America.  Harris also released a video on social media to announce her candidacy. Her husband, Douglas Emhoff was on-hand and waiting behind the scenes as Harris made the announcement on Good Morning America. He took to social media to tweet his strong support for his wife’s campaign.

Before being elected to the US Senate, Harris served two terms as the district attorney for San Francisco; she later became the first woman of color ever to serve as California’s attorney general. Harris was born in Oakland, California. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was an oncologist from Tamil Nadu, India. Her father, Donald Harris, was a Jamaican-American professor of economics at Stanford.

Before meeting Emhoff, Kamala Harris had a relationship with Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco. Brown was married to Blanche Vitero at the time. Brown, who is about 30 years older than Harris, wrote about the relationship in a column for the San Francisco Chronicle on January 27. Brown added that he had probably “influenced” Harris’s career by hiring her to two state commissions while he was Assembly speaker.

In 2014, Kamala Harris married Emhoff in a private ceremony at the Santa Barbara courthouse. The couple had been engaged for five months before they tied the knot.

Here’s what you need to know about Kamala Harris’ husband Douglas Emhoff:


1. He Is an Entertainment and Intellectual Property Lawyer

Emhoff is media, entertainment and intellectual property partner at DLA Piper, a law firm based in Los Angeles. Emhoff describes himself as a “highly experienced litigator, strategic advisor and business insider” who, in his words, “maintains a very visible public presence in California and DC.” Emhoff works as both a litigator and a behind-the-scenes advisor for high-profile cases.

He specializes in media and entertainment cases, and in cases involving intellectual property law.


2. He Has Two Children from His First Marriage

Emhoff has two children, Emma and Cole, from his first marriage to Kerstin Emhoff. Kerstin Emhoff is the president and co-founder of a production company called PrettyBird.

Emhoff’s son, Cole, graduated from college recently; his daughter Emma recently graduated from high school. Emhoff also has a close relationship with his mother, and tweets messages to her — complete with mother-and-son photos — on her birthday and on mother’s day.

Kamala Harris has said that her New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to have more family dinners. “I spend time thinking about recipes, I plan menus in my head and then it’s just a matter of when can I get the family together and be home to cook Sunday family dinner. “So my goal this year is to do even more Sunday family dinners. It’s my most favorite thing to do,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America.


3. Harris and Emhoff Were Set Up on a Blind Date

While Harris was serving as California’s attorney general, a close friend set her up on a blind date with Douglas Emhoff. Just a year later, the two were engaged to be married.

Emhoff proposed to Harris on bended knee and gave her a diamond and platinum engagement ring.

Emhoff and Harris are both 54 — he is older than her by just one week. Emhoff was born in New York and went to law school at the University of Southern California. He was married once before and had been divorced for four years when he proposed to Harris.


4. He Is a Philanthropist

In 2015, Emhoff and Harris donated $32,947 to charity. $10,000 of that went to Unicef. They also donated $1,250 tothe University of Southern California, where Emhoff attended law school. They gave $1,000 to the national nonprofit College Track and $100 to CASA of Los Angeles.

According to their tax filings, Harris and Emhoff, earned almost $1.17 million in 2015. They paid almost $450,000 in state and federal income taxes, according to a report by the Sacramento Bee.


5. He Liquidated His Stock Portfolio When Harris Was Running for Senate

Until 2015, Emhoff had massive stock holdings in companies like Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Monsanto — precisely the kinds of companies that progressive politicians like to criticize. It’s hard to know for certain, but Emhoff’s holdings probably amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But in 2015, when Harris was running for Senate, Emhoff sold off all of his stocks. That included stocks in Caterpillar, Verizon, Valero Energy and Hess Corp.

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