The couple married in 2014, with Harris’ sister Maya officiating. They have raised Emhoff’s two children from a prior marriage, Cole and Ella.
Now they will live together in Blair House, the diplomatic residency just across the street from the White House, instead of the traditional vice president’s mansion at the Naval Observatory.
After Harris accepted Biden’s offer to join the campaign, Emhoff took leave from his lawyer job and joined her on the campaign trail.
‘I found that as I began dipping my toe into Kamala’s world, it brought us even closer together,’ he wrote.
‘I realized how much of yourself you leave on the trail, how much these stories weigh on you, and—though I couldn’t imagine it possible before this—I grew to understand and admire who she is and what she’s been able to accomplish even more,’ he continued.
Emhoff said that although he had blazed a new trail by becoming the first Second Gentleman, he predicted there would be many more to follow.
‘It reminds me of a story Kamala likes to tell about her mother Shyamala, who would always say to her daughters, “You may be the first, but you better not be the last,”‘ he wrote.
‘I want that to be true of me, too. I may be the first Second Gentleman, but I know I won’t be the last,’ wrote Emhoff.
While Harris has had an illustrious career shattering several glass ceilings, Emhoff is a success story in his own right.
Before the campaign, he worked as a high-powered entertainment lawyer who brought home an annual salary north of $1 million.
Last month, Georgetown University Law Center announced that Emhoff would join the school’s faculty as a distinguished visitor and as a distinguished fellow of the school’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy.
Emhoff, who is exactly one week older than Harris, was born in Brooklyn, New York, but as a teenager his parents Mike and Barb moved to southern California where he has lived ever since.
He and Harris were set up by Harris’ best friend, PR consultant Chrisette Hudlin, who told her: ‘He’s cute and he’s the managing partner of his law firm and I think you’re going to like him.’
They hit it off immediately when he texted her from courtside at an LA Lakers game. She replied ‘Go Lakers’ despite being a Golden State Warriors fan.
The next morning he called her while she was at the gym before work.
‘I had an early meeting and as I was driving to work, I couldn’t get you off my mind,’ he told her later.
‘I kept saying to myself ‘It’s 8:30 am, it’s way too early to call her. That would be ridiculous. Don’t be that guy. Don’t call her. Don’t do it.’
But he called anyway and left a long, rambling message. He thought he had ruined his chances so badly that he even considered leaving a second rambling message explaining the first.
But Harris — who still has the message saved on her phone — found it ‘endearing.’ She called him back at lunch and they talked for an entire hour.
‘It sounds corny, I know, but the conversation just flowed,’ Harris wrote in her memoir The Truths We Hold. ‘I remember us cracking each other up, joking and laughing at ourselves, just the way we do now.’
They went out a few times and first went public with their budding romance at a speech she gave on the ills of truancy — ‘not exactly what most people think of as a romantic date,’ she wrote.
Within a year, Emhoff — who says that Bradley Cooper should play him if a movie is made about his wife — proposed, but even that didn’t go right.
Harris had other things on her mind. She was desperately hunting for a favorite pair of pants she had mislaid and was hankering for takeout Thai food.
As Emhoff declared that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, she replied: ‘That’s nice honey, should we have chicken or shrimp on the pad thai?’ It was only then that she noticed he was down on one knee.
They married at Santa Barbara Courthouse on August 22, 2014.
‘In keeping with our Indian and Jewish heritages, I put a flower garland around Doug’s neck and he stomped on a glass.’ Harris wrote.
It is Emhoff’s second marriage. He was previously married to film producer Kerstin Mackin, with whom he shares two adult children, Cole and Ella.
Harris has become close to the kids, who call her Momala because they don’t like the term stepmom.
She is also on friendly terms with their mom, Mackin.
‘We really hit it off,’ Harris wrote in her book. ‘We sometimes joke that our modern family is almost a little too functional.’
Emhoff has constantly been by her side and has become close with Jill Biden, who previously served as Second Lady.