Kamala Harris Reveals the Important Advice She Received from Her Late Mother

Amy Mackelden
·1-min read
Photo credit: Justin Sullivan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Justin Sullivan - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

In a new interview with The Times, vice president-elect Kamala Harris has opened up about a number of topics, including the best piece of advice her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, ever gave her.

Harris told the newspaper, "In high school, when I was getting distracted by other things, my mother would say, 'Don't do anything half-assed.'" As for when Harris would complain, her mom would say, "Well, Kamala, what are you going to do about it?"

Per her obituary, Dr. Shyamala G. Harris sadly passed away from cancer in 2009, but not before dedicating much of her career to researching breast cancer. "A world-renowned scientist, a mentor, an activist, a mother," her obituary reads. "Despite her 5-ft stature, hers was a commanding presence characterized by a sharp wit, keen sense of humor and endless depth of knowledge. She embodied an independent, confident and curious spirit that led her to travel alone to the U.S. as a teen; forge a career as a brilliant breast cancer researcher; join the Civil Rights Movement; introduce a generation of students of color to careers in science; and, through it all, raise two remarkable young women, by herself."

In October 2019, Kamala shared a beautiful photo of her mom on Instagram and captioned the snap, "My mother was a pioneering breast cancer researcher, so I grew up learning about the importance of screening and early detection. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I hope you’ll help help spread the word."

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