Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks on the third night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center August 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Getty/Kyodo)

Kamala Harris, who has been elected as the first female, first black and first Asian American U.S. vice president, is known for having been a trailblazer throughout a career dedicated to the fight against injustice.

Harris, 56, was born in Oakland, California. Her father immigrated to the United States from Jamaica to study economics and her mother came from India while working toward becoming a breast cancer researcher.

Her parents were active in the civil rights movement and took to the streets to protest, bringing the young Kamala along in her stroller.

Her parents split when she was five years old and she and her younger sister were mostly raised by their mother, who instilled in them a sense of identity as "proud, strong black women" and also taught them to appreciate their Indian heritage, according to Harris.

After graduating from Howard University in Washington, a prestigious historically black college, and attending the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, she began her career as a prosecutor.

As the first woman elected as San Francisco's district attorney, she started a program to provide first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school degree and find a job.

In 2010, Harris became the first black person and first woman to be elected attorney general of the state of California, overseeing the second-largest Justice Department in the country behind only the U.S. Department of Justice.

She then became the second black woman and the first South Asian-American to be elected to the Senate in 2016. She raised her profile during Senate hearings in 2018 through her sharp questioning of a Supreme Court nominee picked by President Donald Trump.

Harris suffered a setback when her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination fell short, leading to an early exit from the race despite having drawn attention as "the female Barack Obama" after the Democrat who was the first African American president in U.S. history.

But she made history again in August as she became the first black woman and the first Asian American nominated to the second-highest office in the United States by a major party.

As vice president, she will be first in line to take over as president should Joe Biden, 77, who has been elected the next U.S. president, dies or becomes unable to serve.

If Biden decides not to run for a second term due to his advanced age, Harris could also be well positioned to run atop the Democratic ticket in the 2024 presidential election.

Harris married the lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014. Emhoff, whom Harris met on a blind date set up by her best friend, will become the country's first "second gentleman," a title referring to a male spouse of a vice president.

Harris is stepmother to Emhoff's two children, who call her "Momala" as a play on her first name. Harris' sister Maya is a lawyer.

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