Doug Emhoff makes history as first ‘Second Gentleman’

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Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband Doug Emhoff take the stage during a drive-in get out the vote rally, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON/AP) – Not only is Kamala Harris breaking barriers as the first woman elected to be Vice President of the United States but so is the man by her side — Doug Emhoff.

56-year-old Emhoff, Harris’ husband, is a partner at a law firm, DLA Piper, in Los Angeles. He plans to leave the firm by Inauguration Day.

This will allow him to focus on his role as the first ‘Second Gentleman.’

Emhoff’s decision to cut ties with DLA Piper also offered an early test of how a Biden administration would avoid potential ethical issues.

While Emhoff is not a lobbyist, the firm has a large presence lobbying the federal government on behalf of clients including Comcast, Raytheon, and the government of Puerto Rico. 

The high-profile entertainment lawyer took a leave of absence after President-elect Joe Biden chose Harris as his running mate. Voters have seen Emhoff as a supportive husband throughout the race.

“I want more women in office, and I want more partners, whoever their partner is, to support them and to provide an opportunity and an environment for success,” Emhoff said in an October interview with the digital site NowThis News. 

Emhoff embraced his role as a political surrogate during the campaign.

He will be the first Jewish spouse of a president or a vice president, and he was a prominent liaison to Jewish groups and donors.

Harris and Emhoff were set up by a friend in 2013 and were married a year later.

“It was love at first sight, it really was,” Emhoff said in an interview.

This is Emhoff’s second marriage. He has two children, Cole and Ella, who refer to Harris as ‘Momala’ — A play on her name and a Yiddish word for ‘little mother.’

Harris recalls the scrutiny she faced as a single woman in her 40s and her hesitance to be public about her relationships in her memoir, “The Truths We Hold.”

She first brought Emhoff out in public to a 2014 speech about a truancy initiative she’d pursued. Her team would refer to everything that came next as A.D. — After Doug.

“They knew how much he made me laugh. I did, too,” she writes.

Emhoff was born in New York on October 13, 1964 to his parents Barbara and Micheal Emhoff.

He and his two siblings, Andy and Jamie, grew up in New Jersey.

Emhoff earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge and his Juris Doctor from USC Gould School of Law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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