Who Is Kamala Harris’s Husband? Here’s What You Need to Know About Douglas Emhoff

Michella Oré
·6 mins read

If Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November, Kamala Harris will be the first woman to serve as vice president. That’ll give her husband, Douglas Emhoff, the chance to break some barriers too—he’ll be the nation’s first second gentleman.

Harris has made a name for herself as an accomplished politician, passionate cook, and—since she was tapped as Biden’s running mate—historical vice presidential candidate. In addition to becoming the first woman to hold the job, she would also be the first Black and first Indian American person elected vice president.

Supporting her at home is her husband (and number one fan), Douglas Emhoff. Emhoff, who is a lawyer, has become increasingly visible as Harris’s notably supportive, social-media-savvy partner. His relentless campaigning on her behalf and declarations of love for Harris on social media call for even the most enthusiastic Insta-husbands to step up their game.

But what else do we know about Emhoff? For details on how he and Harris met, the kind of work Emhoff was doing before he hit the campaign trail, and what his favorite hobbies are aside from posting adorable pics of his wife on the ’gram, keep reading.

He is an entertainment lawyer.

Before taking a leave of absence to become a full-time Harris campaign staffer (and stan), Emhoff, 55, practiced law overseeing media, sports, and entertainment at the firm DLA Piper, where he is also a partner.

A graduate of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, Emhoff has had a 30-year career specializing in intellectual property, technology, and investigations. Licensed in both California and Washington, D.C, he has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for litigation between 2014 and 2018.

Career highlights include his most notable case, which involved a breach of contract surrounding the famous Taco Bell chihuahua, with $42 million dollars on the line. (Emhoff’s client could have been dragged into the conflict, but he kept them off the hook, as the Hollywood Reporter noted.)

Working with high-profile clients from the NFL or the Olympics, Emhoff is no stranger to the pressures that come with living a highly publicized life.

Emhoff hails from the East Coast.

Emhoff is Jewish and a native New Yorker, although he didn’t grow up there. He was born in Brooklyn to parents Barbara and Michael Emhoff and moved to New Jersey not long after. Years later his father, a women’s shoe designer, decided to move the family to California for a job opportunity, and suddenly teenage Emhoff was living in the “Fast Times of Ridgemont High era of L.A.,” as he shared in a recent YouTube interview. “It was right outside of the Valley…and was just a complete change of lifestyle from what I was used to in Jersey to the suburbs of L.A. in the early ’80s, and it was just pretty incredible.”

He has two kids from a previous marriage.

When Emhoff met Harris, he was divorced and coparenting his two children, Cole and Ella, with ex-wife Kerstin Emhoff, a film producer and founder of the production company Prettybird.

Cole, named after jazz musician John Coltrane, graduated from Colorado College in 2017 before going off to work for William Morris Endeavor, an entertainment holding company with headquarters in Beverly Hills. Ella, named after another famed musician, Ella Fitzgerald, is a student at Parsons School of Design, according to a 2018 Vogue profile.

Harris has often spoken of her love for her stepchildren and their blended family. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career, and certainly vice president will be great. But Momala will always be the one that means the most,” she said in her acceptance speech for the V.P. nomination back in August.

In a tribute to Harris at the DNC, Ella praised her stepmom for her continued support away from the spotlight. “To my brother and me, you'll always be Momala, the world’s greatest stepmom,” she said. “You’re a rock. Not just for our dad, but for three generations of our big, blended family.”

He met Harris on a blind date in 2014 and was immediately smitten. 

In the same YouTube interview with Chasten Buttigieg, Emhoff explained how he and Harris met. In 2014 one of his clients, P.R. exec Chrisette Hudlin, suddenly asked if he was single during a meeting and whether he was interested in going on a blind date with one of her friends.

“OMG, she’s hot!” he recalls responding when he realized that the friend happened to be the Kamala Harris, who was the attorney general of California at the time. After Emhoff agreed to the date (with enthusiasm!), Hudlin passed along Harris’s number, and the two started to exchange texts before meeting up. 

Emhoff described quickly falling in love with Harris and, after several months of dating, deciding to make a declaration: “I famously sent her an email that was something like, ‘Hey, I’m too old, you know, to hide the ball. I’m really into this. Let’s just make this work.’ So we decided to give it six months and just not talk about it, and if at the end of that six months we still felt the way we did, we were just going to go for it. And that’s exactly what happened.” 

The two married less than a year later, in a courthouse in Santa Barbara. Harris’s younger sister, Maya Harris, officiated the civil ceremony. 

He is a Kamala superfan.

If you look at Emhoff’s Instagram profile, chances are you might have to do a double-take to make sure you’re not on a Harris fan page. Nearly every photo is a celebration of the senator and her progress along the campaign, like his post of Kamala on the cover of Time magazine, which he spotted on his way to Omaha: “Hustling from Las Vegas to Omaha on a very early flight and look who I ran into at the airport.”

And in case people think his wife’s political runs have been a topic of debate for the two, Emhoff is quick to shut that idea down. “Our relationship and the way I roll, my whole life has just been to support the people I love unequivocally, and they support me,” he recently told Marie Claire. “The whole thing has been based on parity and mutual respect.”

When he’s not posting beaming pics of his wife’s accomplishments or the two lovebirds together, Emhoff will throw in some selfies of himself working with staffers to mobilize voters. It’s honestly quite incredible and heartfelt to see such an outward display of affection. 

He loves to cook too.

According to his Twitter bio, Emhoff is a “wannabe golfer,” in addition to his advocacy for justice and equality. He’s also a foodie in training, helping his wife out with kitchen duties as her schedule has intensified over the last several months. “I’ve gotten pretty handy in the kitchen as her sous-chef,” he told Oprah Magazine. As for how his cooking chops match up to Harris’s? “It takes him about four hours to do what I do in an hour, but it is delicious, so I just have to be quiet and let it happen,” she told Glamour.

Originally Appeared on Glamour