As Kamala Harris is set to become vice president early next year, she is making history as the first female, the first Black person and the first Asian American to step into the role.
Meanwhile, her husband, 56-year-old Doug Emhoff, is also making headlines as the first “second gentleman” and first Jewish person married to a vice president.
While many, especially in the Bay Area, know plenty about Oakland native Harris, they might not know as much about her husband. Here are some quick facts about Doug Emhoff:
He got his start on the East Coast. Emhoff was born in New York. His father was a shoe designer who moved his family from Brooklyn to New Jersey.
He ended up on the West Coast. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was in high school.
He has degrees from California colleges. Emhoff received his undergraduate degree from Cal State Northridge and his law degree from the University of Southern California.
He is an entertainment lawyer. Emhoff formed his own law practice after law school. His career as an attorney has spanned nearly three decades, and he was last a partner at global law firm DLA Piper.
He met Harris on a blind date. A friend set Emhoff and Harris up on a blind date when she was serving as California’s attorney general. Emhoff popped the question in 2014, and they married in an intimate ceremony in Santa Barbara five months later. Harris’ sister, Maya, presided over the ceremony.
He is divorced with two kids. Emhoff was previously married to Kerstin Emhoff. They had two children, Cole and Ella, who refer to Harris as “Momala.” Harris has spoken publicly about her friendship with Emhoff’s ex-wife and their “very modern family.”
He went all in for Harris. He took a leave of absence from his law firm in August and had become a staple on Harris’s campaign trail. His position in DLA Piper could be a conflict of interest as it has a Washington lobbying presence, according to the Washington Post. It is unclear what Emhoff will do now that Harris is the vice president-elect, but he has mentioned interest in doing pro bono work.
He’s garnered his own fan base. Emhoff’s endlessly supportive social media posts have gained admiration from onlookers and even led to Emhoff’s own hashtag: #Doughive. Last summer while Harris was on stage at MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum in San Francisco, an animal rights activist leaped onstage and grabbed the microphone from her. Security intervened and Emhoff also got onstage, managing to wrestle the mike away from the protester. Another case in point: He melted a lot of hearts with his sweet post Saturday morning after Harris was declared the vice president-elect.
So proud of you. ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Orb1ISe0dU
— Doug Emhoff (@DouglasEmhoff) November 7, 2020
What to call his new role: No, as the vice president’s partner he won’t be the “second dude” or the “second husband” or the “second spouse.” He reportedly will be the “second gentleman.”
Kellie Hwang is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: kellie.hwang@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @KellieHwang