Doug Emhoff has the right to think he has led a successful life.
He owns three houses in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington and has built a career representing huge entertainment conglomerates from the ground up – allowing him to bring home an annual salary of more than $1 million.
But for now, he is content to put all of his achievements in the background as he basks in the accomplishments of his wife, who could very well become the first ever female vice president of the United States.
Next week Emhoff, 55, and Kamala Harris will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary. But this will be no time for a leisurely romantic candlelit dinner.
Instead, they will be busy on the campaign trail as he dedicates the next few weeks of his life to getting his wife and Joe Biden elected to the White House.
Emhoff, who is exactly one week older than Harris, was born in Brooklyn, New York, but as a teenager his parents Mike and Barb moved to southern California where he has lived ever since.
He would be the first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president if the Democrats beat Donald Trump and Mike Pence in November.
He and Harris were set up by Harris’ best friend, PR consultant Chrisette Hudlin, who told her: ‘He’s cute and he’s the managing partner of his law firm and I think you’re going to like him.’
They hit it off immediately when he texted her from courtside at an LA Lakers game. She replied ‘Go Lakers’ despite being a Golden State Warriors fan.
The next morning he called her while she was at the gym before work. ‘I had an early meeting and as I was driving to work, I couldn’t get you off my mind,’ he told her later.
‘I kept saying to myself “It’s 8:30 am, it’s way too early to call her. That would be ridiculous. Don’t be that guy. Don’t call her. Don’t do it.’
But he called anyway and left a long, rambling message. He thought he had ruined his chances so badly that he even considered leaving a second rambling message explaining the first.
But Harris — who still has the message saved on her phone — found it ‘endearing.’ She called him back at lunch and they talked for an entire hour.
‘It sounds corny, I know, but the conversation just flowed,’ Harris wrote in her memoir The Truths We Hold. ‘I remember us cracking each other up, joking and laughing at ourselves, just the way we do now.’
They went out a few times and first went public with their budding romance at a speech she gave on the ills of truancy — ‘not exactly what most people think of as a romantic date,’ she wrote.
Within a year Emhoff — who says that Bradley Cooper should play him if a movie is made about his wife — proposed, but even that didn’t go right.
Harris had other things on her mind. She was desperately hunting for a favorite pair of pants she had mislaid and was hankering for takeout Thai food.
As Emhoff declared that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, she replied: ‘That’s nice honey, should we have chicken or shrimp on the pad thai?’ It was only then that she noticed he was down on one knee.
They married at Santa Barbara Courthouse on August 22, 2014.
‘In keeping with our Indian and Jewish heritages, I put a flower garland around Doug’s neck and he stomped on a glass.’ Harris wrote.
Emhoff went to Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California, before going to Cal State Northridge and the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.
An early case representing a video company in a dispute with Fox set him on his career path in entertainment law.
His most famous client was the Taco Bell chihuahua. A Michigan company won $42 million when it sued the fast food giant claiming the turn of the century advertising dog with the catchphrase ‘Yo Quiero Taco Bell’ was ripped off from its creation ‘Psycho Chihuahua.’
Taco Bell tried to pin the blame on ad agency TBWA but Emhoff won the case for the agency after a lengthy court battle.
He also represented Chicago Bears wide receiver Willie Gault in a highly publicized case when he was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission over claims that the Super Bowl winner had inflated share prices of his medical device company. Gault had to pay up more than $200,000.
Emhoff is on his second marriage. He has two grown children, Cole and Ella — named for jazz greats John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald — with his first wife Kerstin. Harris is close to the kids, who call her Momala because they don’t like the term stepmom.
‘Mamaleh’ is also a Yiddish term of endearment meaning little mama.
She is also close to their mother. ‘We really hit it off,’ she wrote in her book. ‘We sometimes joke that our modern family is almost a little too functional.’
Harris also does a mean impression of her mother-in-law.
She had interviewer Cleo Wade in stitches when she put on a Brooklyn Jewish accent to tell of their first meeting. ‘She puts my face in her hand. She looks at me and she says, “Oh look at you. You’re prettier than you are on television’”
Emhoff and Harris appear devoted. A video of him awkwardly dad-dancing at the San Francisco Pride Parade last year ends with her planting a big kiss on his lips.
She dedicated her book ‘To my darling husband: Thank you for always being patient, loving, supportive and calm. And most of all for your sense of ‘the funny.’
He even leapt to her defense when an animal rights protestor stormed the stage and tried to grab her microphone during a forum last year. He wrestled the mike from the man and helped bundle him away.
He then tweeted: ‘Thx for all the kind notes. We are good. I love @KamalaHarris and would do anything for her.’
Now he may have to keep to that promise.
If Biden and Harris win the election and he becomes the country’s first Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff would face enormous pressure to give up his job which he describes as ‘something I love and something I’m good at,’ and move to Washington.