Kamala: The inspiring story of many firsts

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Kamala Harris has several firsts in her role as vice president: the first woman, the first African-American woman, the first Indian-American and the first Asian-American. (Photo: AP)

PTI

First-time Senator Kamala Harris, popularly called the “female Obama”, created history by becoming the first woman, first Black and first Indian-American vice president of the United States.

In a historic speech after her victory in November, Harris remembered her late mother Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist from India, saying she had prepared her for this big day in her political career.

She also said that while she may be the first woman to occupy the vice president’s office, she would not be the last.

Harris, 56, is known for many firsts. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco — the first woman, first African-American and first Indian-origin to be elected to the position.

She has several firsts in her role as vice president also: the first woman, the first African-American woman, the first Indian-American and the first Asian-American.

When Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden picked Harris in August last year as his running mate recognising the crucial role Black voters could play in his determined bid to defeat Donald Trump, the then California Senator was the third woman to be selected as the vice president on a major party ticket. Then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 were the other two.

Before becoming Biden’s running mate, Harris had her own presidential dreams, which she abandoned due to lack of the financial resources to continue her campaign.

She’s one of the only three Asian Americans in the Senate and she’s the first Indian-American ever to serve in the chamber.

During the Obama era, she was popularly called the “female Obama”. A decade ago, journalist Gwen Ifill called Harris “the female Barack Obama” on the “Late Show With David Letterman”.

Later, a small businessman from Willoughby Tony Pinto called her “a young, female version of the president”.

She is considered to be close to Barack Obama, the first black American President, who endorsed her in her various elections including that of the US Senate in 2016.