Second gentleman. The second husband. Second son. Regardless of the official title, Emhoff, Jew, is making history his own way, reflecting the nation’s changing political and gender norms.
Emhoff, a successful entertainment attorney, was mostly quiet and supportive on the campaign trail when Harris ran for president in the Democratic primary. Harris gave up the main race in December and joined Biden as his companion in August.
Emhoff stays away from the limelight, and is often seen backstage or on the edge of crowds at Harris events wearing a “Kamala”; T-shirt. But he’s active on social media, with his supporters calling himself #DougHive, modeled after Harris and #KHive advocates.
He drew attention last year when he rushed upstage to protect Harris after a protester got close enough to the senator to snatch her microphone.
Emhoff also defended Harris when Donald Trump Jr., the President’s son, rewrote the racist lie that Harris is not a black American because her parents immigrated from Jamaica and India.
Harris and Emhoff met after they were set up by Harris’s best friend in 2013 when Harris was California’s attorney general. At the time, Emhoff was divorced from Kerstin Emhoff, with whom he had two children, Cole and Ella.
Emhoff proposed to Harris in 2014 after a quick flirt. The couple married in court in Santa Barbara later that year in a ceremony chaired by Harris, Harris’s sister.
“Family means to me. And I’ve had a lot of titles in my career, and for sure, ‘Vice President’ will be great, but ‘Momala’ will always be the most meaningful.” Harris said in her first speech after Biden chose her to run with him for the White House.
EDIT: This story has been corrected to reflect the South Asian ancestry of Kamala Harris.
CNN’s Maeve Reston contributed to this report.