08 November 2020

Vice-President Kamala Harris' childhood home in Berkeley: 8 November 2020

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, on 20 October 1964. She lived in Berkeley on and off until the age of 12, when her family moved to Montreal, Canada. Ms. Harris returned to the United States after attending high school in Canada. She graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C. and from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. 

Attorney Harris was employed as an Alameda County prosecuting attorney before being elected San Francisco district attorney. She was then elected California attorney general. Kamala Harris was also elected as a California senator in the United States Congress. 

Click on an image to view the full-size photograph. 

This is a view of a single-family house located at 1227 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. During 1970-1971 the house was extensively remodeled, with the basement area made useable for a pre-school. Kamala Harris, her mother, Shyamala Gopalan (1938-2009), and her sister Maya resided in the upstairs living area. 

Shyamala Gopalan came to the United States from India in 1960 to study for her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1963, she married Donald Harris, a fellow graduate student who was an immigrant from Jamaica. They separated when Kamala Harris was a young child.

THEN This photo, looking north, and taken in 1972, shows the west side of 1227 Bancroft Way. Kamala Harris can be seen at the front center, along with her grandfather, P.V. Gopalan, her mother Shyamala Gopalan, her grandmother Rajam Gopalan, and her sister, Maya.

NOW This is a current view of the scene in the above photo. The stairway goes to the upstairs apartment, within which the Harris family resided. 

Kamala Harris attended Thousand Oaks Elementary School in Berkeley. Ms. Harris has commented that she started kindergarten one year after the Berkeley school system launched its student integration program.

   Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris as seen at the Democratic National Convention, August 2020.

Kamala Harris is shown in 1989 with her mother and Mrs. Francis Wilson, her first grade Berkeley school teacher. Kamala Harris has just received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

THEN: Kamala Harris, her sister Maya, and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, as seen on Milvia Street in Berkeley. This photo is circa 1969.

NOW Here is a view of the same scene on Milvia Street taken during November 2020; the cross street is Berkeley Way

 Donald Harris is Kamala's father. This picture of Donald and Kamala Harris was taken in April 1965. Professor Harris is now 81 years old and has retired from his teaching position at Stanford University.

Shyamala and Kamala at 1227 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.

Maya and Kamala Harris.

Here are Kamala and Maya Harris, as seen during Christmas 1968, in their 1227 Bancroft Way apartment.

Kamala Harris is being sworn in as the 49th vice-president during the Presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, 20 January 2021.

Joseph Biden is now the 46th President, and he is seen within the White House, signing presidential orders at the resolute desk on 20 January 2021.

This posting was updated on 22 January 2021.

Thanks to Natalie Orenstein, the author, and Berkeleyside, the publisher, for providing information about Kamala Harris' childhood in Berkeley, California.

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