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Biography of California Attorney General Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris was born Oct. 20, 1964, to a black Stanford University professor and a Tamil Indian physician mother, Harris became the first California attorney general with African American or South Asian ancestry after defeating Republican rival Steve Cooley in the 2010 election for the position. Harris, formerly San Francisco"s district attorney, is also the first woman to serve in the role.

Kamala Devi Harris was born and raised in San Francisco"s East Bay where she attended public schools, worshipped at black churches and lived in predominantly African American communities.

Her immersion in African American culture didn"t prevent her from being exposed to Indian culture, though.

Her breast cancer specialist mother took Harris to Hindu temples to worship. Moreover, Harris is no stranger to India, having visited the subcontinent on several occasions to see relatives. Her bicultural heritage and travels around the globe have inspired political insiders to compare her with President Barack Obama. Although Obama sometimes struggled with identity issues, as he describes in memoir "Dreams from My Father," Harris evidently didn"t experience growing pains in this vein.

"I grew up in a family where I had a strong sense of my culture and who I am, and I never felt insecure about that at all," she told the Associated Press. "Slowly, perhaps…, people will start to understand the diversity of the people."

After graduating from high school, Harris left the East Bay to attend Howard University, a historically black academic institution.

She earned a bachelor"s degree from Howard in 1986 and then returned to the Bay Area in Northern California. Upon her return, she enrolled at Hastings College of the Law, where she earned a law degree. Following that accomplishment, Harris proceeded to leave her mark on the legal arena of San Francisco.

Law degree in tow, Harris began prosecuting child rape, robbery and murder cases as deputy district attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney"s Office, serving in the position from

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