Who is America’s first second gentleman? A trailblazer devoted to his wife, her causes and career

Who is America’s first second gentleman? A trailblazer devoted to his wife, her causes and career

Listing the ways in which Kamala Harris is breaking new ground as US vice president is exhausting.

She’s the first woman, the first African American and the first South Asian American to hold the office.

But her husband, Doug Emhoff, is also rewriting history, as the first man to be a spouse of a president or vice president, in his case, the country’s first ever second gentleman.

He’s also the first Jew to be the spouse of a vice president.

Doug Emhoff hitting the campaign trail in 2020. Pic: AP

And what’s more, he’s proud to be doing it.

Mr Emhoff, 56, will focus on the duties that come with his new role after giving up his career as an entertainment lawyer at international firm DLA Piper, to prevent any possible conflict of interest.

In a piece he wrote for GQ published on Tuesday, he called it “a decision that we made together [after his wife became Joe Biden’s running mate] – this was about something bigger than either of us”.

And if such selflessness feels unusual in the male-dominated world of US presidential politics, then a quick look at his social media accounts explains all.

His Twitter bio is “Devoted dad. Proud husband to @KamalaHarris. Advocate for justice and equality.”

Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris on election night. Pic: AP

His respect for his wife and her achievements is clear and when the historic election result was announced, he wrote: “So proud of you”, alongside a picture of him hugging her.

Like Dr Jill Biden, who plans to continue her teaching career, Mr Emhoff will also be an educator, taking on a course in entertainment law disputes at Georgetown University Law Centre.

“I’ve long wanted to teach and serve the next generation of young lawyers,” Emhoff said at the time it was announced.

Douglas Craig Emhoff was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in New Jersey before moving aged 17 to California with his family. He has a brother and a sister.

He studied law and, prior to his career change, had spent more than two decades as an entertainment lawyer.

He has two children, Cole and Ella, from a previous marriage to Kerstin Emhoff, who has become close with Ms Harris.

His relationship with Ms Harris is steeped in romance – on his side at least.

He says “the moment I met Kamala, I knew I was in love”.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

VP Kamala Harris: ‘We are undaunted’

The day after their first date, he wrote her an email laying out his feelings, saying: “I’m too old to play games or hide the ball. “I really like you, and I want to see if we can make this work.”

They married about a year later, in August 2014.

Doug Emhoff and Kamala Harris pictured in October 2014, soon after their wedding. Pic: AP

In a world where being “woke” is considered insulting by some, he promises to set a new template for a modern man.

He wrote in GQ: “I am honoured to be the first male spouse of an American president or vice president.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Bidens watch fireworks from White House

“But here’s the truth: generations of women before me have used this platform to advocate for causes they believe in and build trust in our institutions at home and abroad – often without much accolade or acknowledgment.

“It’s on their shoulders I stand.”

He says he wants their adult children “to grow up in a world where it isn’t news that a loving partner – of any gender – supports them in everything they do.”



Leave a Reply

Exit mobile version