Learn more about Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepchildren, Ella and Cole, with husband Douglas Emhoff using this comprehensive breakdown of the Second Family’s life together!
After the November 2020 election, Vice President Kamala Harris and her beloved husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, were thrust into the political spotlight. The couple have built an incredibly strong bond over the course of their marriage, which is the Vice President’s first and the Second Gentleman’s second marriage. Upon marrying the Second Gentleman, the Vice President became “momala” of Cole Emhoff and Ella Emhoff, who’ve also intrigued many across the nation. Learn more about this blended family, their bonds with one another, and more about Cole and Ella!
Cole Emhoff was born in September 1994 and is the first child and only son of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and his ex-wife Kerstin Emhoff, a film producer and CEO of the production company Prettybird. Cole is a graduate from Colorado College, graduating in 2017 with a degree in psychology. Following graduation, Cole was an assistant at William Morris Endeavor. Since November 2019, Cole has been an executive assistant at Plan B Entertainment, with offices located in Los Angeles, according to LinkedIn.
VP Harris’ relationship with both Cole and Ella started slowly, as Cole explained to Glamour in October 2020. “First I was a little blindsided, to be honest,” Cole shared of learning that his father was dating then-California Attorney General Harris. “Doug was like, ‘I met this woman. She’s cool. I’m excited about her.’ And Doug hadn’t talked about his dating life for a long time. He said, ‘I think you just have to know, though, that she is the attorney general of California.’ I was like, ‘Okay, cool, whatever.’” At the time, Cole was a senior in high school and just getting ready to head off to college.
But when he finally met VP Harris, Cole immediately knew how special her relationship with his father was. “I think for all of us, it was love at first sight. We had an incredible evening at one of my favorite restaurants—The Reel Inn. We had a long drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, sharing music. I got to know her first on a much more personal level—her music tastes, her cooking, how she interacts with Doug, which was hilarious. She would just be ribbing him. It was perfect,” he gushed of his stepmother.
Ella Emhoff is Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff’s second child and daughter, whom he also shares with Kerstin Emhoff. Ella was born in May 1999 and is 21 years old. She currently attends Parsons School of Design in New York City and was signed to IMG Models in January 2021. Ella quickly made a name for herself as one of the most stylish and fashion forward members of the Second Family. The gorgeous Miu Miu coat that she wore to President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris’ inauguration really made her a viral star from the day’s historic proceedings. But at the end of the day, the 21-year-old is an incredibly supportive daughter, who has a special bond with her stepmother.
“I think when we met her, I was about to go into high school, so I was in an equally intense time, but for different, more angsty reasons,” Ella explained to Glamour in October 2020. “It felt serious when he was just talking about her, because I could hear it in his voice. When we did meet, it all felt so natural that it wasn’t even a big deal. It felt like we had known each other forever. And I think what was important was getting to know her as a person first—a person before a politician.”
As a young woman who is coming into her own, Ella has loved seeing her “momala” flourish in her new, historic role in the nation’s government. “Separating her familial relationship to me, I think it’s super long overdue,” Ella explained. “It’s so empowering to see someone who’s so sure of herself and is not going to back down. What’s so important about her is that she’s super comfortable with her assertiveness. She doesn’t see that as a weakness, and she’s not scared. To see someone who is running like that with Joe for the highest of offices—I hope it will open up the floodgates for a lot more women and especially women of color to just run and then hopefully make it to the top. I think that we’ve needed someone like her to come along.”
How The Second Family Makes It Work
Despite being separated by miles, having incredibly unique schedules, and even living in different time zones, Vice President Harris, the Second Gentleman, Ella, and Cole still find ways to maintain their close bond. Dating back to the first time that Ella and Cole met Kamala and really began to bond with her, family dinners became a huge part of the Second Family’s routine and time together. The family would always get together for Sunday dinners. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the family members living on opposite coasts, those get-togethers have been more difficult to come by.
Those Sunday dinners, however, have morphed into something totally different. The Harris-Emhoff household now have Sunday night family Zoom chats to check in with one another, ask questions about each other’s day, and so much more. “I think it’s even harder that this is all happening during COVID because not being together during all of this is hard. We can Zoom, and we do have a Zoom every weekend, and we talk a lot. But it’s not the same,” Ella confessed while speaking with Glamour.
Of course, the family is never averse to posting or posing for a family Instagram snap. In fact, while on the campaign trail the Harris-Emhoff crew would pose for pictures together whenever they had the chance. Prior to COVID-19, when the family was able to get together, Instagram snaps were practically a routine for them, as evidenced by the post above.
As for Vice President Harris, her relationship with Ella and Cole couldn’t be better. It’s so evident from the way she speaks about her stepchildren just how much they mean to her. From the beginning, however, she made sure to prioritize their well-being and comfort. “As a child of divorce, I knew how hard it could be when your parents start to date other people. And I was determined not to insert myself in their lives until Doug and I had established we were in this for the long haul. Children need consistency,” she penned in an essay for Elle.
“Cole and Ella could not have been more welcoming,” Vice President Harris continued. “They are brilliant, talented, funny kids who have grown to be remarkable adults. I was already hooked on Doug, but I believe it was Cole and Ella who reeled me in.” Along with her bond to Cole and Ella, Vice President Harris also has a wonderful relationship with their mother.
“To know Cole and Ella is to know that their mother Kerstin is an incredible mother. Kerstin and I hit it off ourselves and are dear friends. She and I became a duo of cheerleaders in the bleachers at Ella’s swim meets and basketball games, often to Ella’s embarrassment. We sometimes joke that our modern family is almost a little too functional,” she wrote with some cheek.
Months before she was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris spoke with such love for her family. “Family is everything to me, too,” she said in an August 2020 speech. “And I cannot wait for America to get to know my husband, Doug, and our amazing kids, Cole and Ella,” she said. “And I’ve had a lot of titles over my career, and certainly ‘vice president’ will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”