- Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff met on a blind date set up by one of Harris’ friends, and less than a year later, he proposed. They married in 2014.
- Emhoff, a lawyer, has accompanied Harris to campaign events, debates, and the Democratic National Convention.
- After Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 presidential election, Emhoff revealed he had plans to quit his law firm in order to focus on his role as second gentleman.
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On January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris will become the first Black female vice president in American history, and her husband Doug Emhoff the country’s first-ever second gentleman.
Emhoff describes meeting Kamala Harris as “love at first sight.” The two were set up on a blind date by one of Harris’ friends in 2013, and they married the following year.
Here’s a timeline of their relationship.
2013: Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff met on a blind date.
Emhoff, a lawyer, had been married before, to film producer Kerstin Emhoff. The couple shares two children, Cole and Ella, and divorced after 16 years of marriage.
Harris was serving as California’s Attorney General.
The two were set up on a blind date by Harris’ friend Chrisette Hudlin, who met Emhoff through work.
“The morning after our first date, @DouglasEmhoff emailed me a list of his available dates for the next couple of months,” Harris wrote on Instagram on Emhoff’s birthday in 2020. “He said, ‘I want to see if we can make this work.’ We’ve been making it work ever since.”
Emhoff described meeting Harris as “love at first sight” in an Instagram post for her birthday.
August 2014: The couple wed in a ceremony officiated by Harris’ sister Maya.
According to a profile of Emhoff by Marie Claire, he proposed during a “decidedly unromantic conversation (she was deliberating between chicken or shrimp pad thai)” less than a year after they met.
Harris and Emhoff held their wedding at a courthouse in Santa Barbara, California. Harris wrote in Elle that she and Emhoff’s children didn’t like the term “stepmom,” so they began calling her “Momala.”
2015: The couple attended the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party together.
Others in attendance at the star-studded event included Beyoncé and Jay Z, Anna Wintour, Serena Williams, Oprah, and Reese Witherspoon.
2016: Harris successfully ran for US senate, with Emhoff accompanying her to campaign events.
Emhoff came with her to vote at the Kenter Canyon Elementary Charter School Auditorium in Brentwood, California, in 2016.
January 2017: Emhoff held the Bible for Harris’ swearing-in ceremony as a US senator.
Vice President Joe Biden administered Harris’ oath of office. Harris later became Biden’s vice presidential pick in his 2020 campaign.
January 2019: Harris launched her presidential campaign with Emhoff by her side.
Harris launched her presidential campaign on the steps of Oakland City Hall. The event was attended by 20,000 people.
“I’m not overly political,” Emhoff later told Marie Claire. “I’m overly her husband.”
June 2019: Harris and Emhoff attended the California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention together.
Harris greeted supporters outside the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
August 2019: Emhoff snapped a selfie with Harris before her speech at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
He showed off his Kamala phone case.
December 2019: After Harris ended her presidential bid, Emhoff posted a supportive message on Instagram.
He later told Marie Claire‘s Jessica M. Goldstein, “She made that decision, and I would have supported whatever she decided. But I’m not her political adviser. I’m her husband. And so my role was to be there for her, to love her, to have her back, to talk it through, to help her.”
August 2020: Joe Biden announced Harris as his running mate. Both appeared with their spouses at their first press conference together.
The two couples observed social distancing by standing apart and air-hugging.
August 2020: Emhoff, who took a leave of absence from his legal firm, joined Harris at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The convention was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Emhoff announced his leave of absence from the international law firm DLA Piper in August.
September 2020: They held hands at a remembrance ceremony for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Harris and Emhoff attended a memorial ceremony at the Fairfax County Public Safety Headquarters in Virginia on September 11, 2020.
October 2020: Emhoff gave Harris a masked kiss after the vice presidential debate.
Arguably, the most memorable part of the debate was when a gigantic fly landed on Mike Pence’s head.
October 2020: Emhoff spoke at a parking lot rally in Denver, Colorado.
About 70 cars attended the socially distanced rally.
November 2020: Biden and Harris won the presidential election, and Harris expressed her love for Emhoff in her victory speech.
Biden and Harris will be the next president and vice president of the United States. Harris is the projected first Black female vice president, and Emhoff the first-ever second gentleman.
Harris mentioned her husband and family in a speech introducing Biden on November 7.
“To my husband Doug, our children Cole and Ella, my sister Maya, and our whole family — I love you all more than I can express,” she said.
Harris also shared a photo of herself with Emhoff on social media that night, captioned, “Meet the love of my life, Doug Emhoff.”
November 2020: Emhoff announced he plans to quit his law firm in order to focus on his role as second gentleman.
A spokesperson told AP News that Emhoff was leaving his position at DLA Piper to devote himself to the role of second gentleman.
“There is a lot of symbolism from a man stepping back from his high-powered career in order to support his wife’s career,” Kim Nalder, a political science professor at California State University-Sacramento, told the AP.
The move was likely also for ethical reasons — Emhoff is not a lobbyist, but his law firm does lobby the federal government on behalf of clients.