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.

ExploreBiden picks Kamala Harris as his candidate for vice president

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.

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Sen. Kamala Harris named as Joe Biden's VP pick

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Sen. Kamala Harris named as Joe Biden's VP pick

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Combined ShapeCaption
Sen. Kamala Harris named as Joe Biden's VP pick

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.”

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Kamala Harris photo from her time as the Attorney General for the state of California.

Credit: Mark Boster

Kamala Harris photo from her time as the Attorney General for the state of California.

Credit: Mark Boster

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Kamala Harris photo from her time as the Attorney General for the state of California.

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.

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Sen. Kamala Harris (R) (D-CA) and former Vice President Joe Biden (L) speak as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Sen. Kamala Harris (R) (D-CA) and former Vice President Joe Biden (L) speak as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida.  A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Combined ShapeCaption
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Sen. Kamala Harris (R) (D-CA) and former Vice President Joe Biden (L) speak as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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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.”