Harris then served two terms as San Francisco’s District Attorney, first elected in 2003 when she defeated a two-term incumbent.
When she was elected to the first of two terms as California's attorney general in 2010, Harris was the first African American woman to serve in that role. She accomplished a similar feat in 2016, becoming just the second African American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.
The 55-year-old is graduate of Howard University and also earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
She was raised in Berkeley before her parents divorced and she moved with her mother and sister to Montreal, Canada. In another first, Harris will be not only the first Black woman on a national ticket, but also the first woman of Indian descent.
Her father is Black and her mother is Indian.
"Her story itself is the American dream that Barack Obama pushed," Sandalow said. "She is the daughter of immigrants. An Afro-Jamaican immigrant. An Indian immigrant. These are groundbreaking times."
In announcing her candidacy for president, Harris held a rally in Oakland last January, hoping for a "Barack Obama-like" signature moment.
"I'm running for president because I love my country," Harris said at the time of the announcement. "I'm running to be a president by the people. Of the people. For all the people."
Ultimately, Harris abandoned her run for the White House in early December after 10 months on the campaign trail.
"I asked her on KCBS (Radio) a few months ago about being Attorney General of the United States and she laughed it off," KCBS Radio Political Reporter Sovern said. "Certainly, she’s an ambitious woman who would like to be president herself someday. No attorney general has ever gone on to the presidency and 14 vice presidents have, so if she’s thinking president someday you have a much better shot as vice president than as attorney general."
Harris has been married to her husband, Doug Emhoff, since 2014.
She is a stepmother to Emhoff's two kids from a previous marriage.