A Timeline of Kamala Harris and Husband Doug Emhoff’s Relationship



2013: Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff met on a blind date.

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff at an event in 2014.

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff at an event in 2014.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Children’s Defense Fund


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 22, 2014: The couple wed in a ceremony officiated by Harris’ sister Maya.

Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris in 2014.

Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris in 2014.

Rich Polk/Getty Images for LACMA


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.

Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


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.

Kamala Harris shows up to cast her vote in 2016.

Kamala Harris shows up to cast her vote in 2016.

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


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 administers the oath at Kamala Harris' swearing-in ceremony in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber in 2017.

Vice President Joe Biden administers the oath at Kamala Harris’ swearing-in ceremony in the Capitol’s Old Senate Chamber in 2017.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images


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.

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff wave to supporters at her campaign launch rally

Senator Kamala Harris waves to her supporters with her husband, Douglas Emhoff and her niece, Amara Ajagu, 2, during her presidential campaign launch rally.

Mason Trinca/Getty Images


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.”

January 2019: Harris wrote about the early days of her courtship with Emhoff in her memoir, “The Truths We Hold.”

Kamala Harris on her book tour in January 2019.

Kamala Harris on her book tour in January 2019.

Sait Serkan Gurbuz, File/AP


“Attending a speech about the ills of truancy isn’t exactly what most people think of as a romantic date, but the event was Doug’s coming out — the first time I’d invited him to join me at a professional gathering,” she wrote. “Hence the whispering and pointing among my team, who had heard rumors of his existence but hadn’t seen him with their own eyes. They would later refer to that era as A.D. — ‘After Doug.’ They loved how much he made me laugh. I did, too.”

June 2019: Harris and Emhoff attended the California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention together.

Kamala Harris with Doug Emhoff outside the California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention.

Kamala Harris with Doug Emhoff outside the California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images


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.

Doug Emhoff takes a selfie with Kamala Harris before her campaign speech.

Doug Emhoff takes a selfie with Kamala Harris before her campaign speech.

Alex Wong/Getty Images


He showed off his Kamala phone case.

December 2019: After Harris ended her presidential bid, Emhoff posted a supportive message on Instagram.

Kamala Harris, looking solemn

Kamala Harris ended her presidential bid in December 2019.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images


“I’ve got you @kamalaharris. As always,” Emhoff captioned a black and white photo of him embracing her, complete with a heart emoji.

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.”

November 2020: Biden and Harris won the presidential election, and Harris expressed her love for Emhoff in her victory speech.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stand with spouses Doug Emhoff and Jill Biden.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stand with spouses Doug Emhoff and Jill Biden.

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images


Harris mentioned her husband and family in her victory speech introducing Biden.

“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 planned to quit his law firm in order to focus on his role as second gentleman.

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff smile and hold each other

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Mark Makela/Getty Images


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.

January 2021: In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning’s Jane Pauley, Harris admitted that she Googled Emhoff before their first date.

Doug Emhoff and vice president-elect Kamala Harris in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. Doug Emhoff looks shocked as Kamala Harris laughs

Doug Emhoff and vice president-elect Kamala Harris in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning.

CBS


“I’ve never been asked that!” Harris said after Pauley asked if she’d Googled Emhoff before their first date. “I did!”

Emhoff’s mouth dropped open in surprise as Harris burst out laughing, affectionately touching his arm and calling him “Dougie.”

The hilarious moment went viral, racking up nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube in two days.

February 2022: Emhoff wished Harris a happy Valentine’s Day, writing on Twitter, “Life is always brighter by your side.”

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff sit side by side

Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff in February 2022.

Alex Brandon/AP


“Life is always brighter by your side. Happy Valentine’s Day, @VP,” Emhoff wrote, accompanied by a heart emoji.

July 2022: Emhoff told a group of students that leaving his law career to support Harris was a “no-brainer.”

Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff wave from Air Force Two

Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff wave as they depart Reno, Nevada, in June 2022.

ANDRI TAMBUNAN/AFP via Getty Images


In July, Emhoff spoke to participants in a summer camp run by Tools & Tiaras, a nonprofit in Queens, New York, that encourages women and girls to pursue careers in construction, about supporting Harris in her role,  The 19th’s Jennifer Gerson reported.

“I think just by stepping away from my career that I love and I was actually very good at so I could support my wife, who was the first woman to become vice president, it was a no-brainer,” Emhoff said, per The 19th. “With this big platform that I have and all the microphones and media and working in this great administration with all of these resources, I really decided to lean in on this issue of men supporting women, professionally and personally, so they can succeed, even if that means stepping away from my own career.”





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