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Al Gore Jr.

Date of birth : 1948-03-31
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Washington D.C., U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-09-08

Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. born March 31, 1948 in Washington is an American politician, congressman, journalist and U.S. federal senator. He served as the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election.

Albert Gore, Jr. was the son of a long-time Democratic congressman from Tennessee. He was the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work.

Albert Gore, Jr., was born in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1948. His father, Albert Gore, Sr., was serving as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee. The senior Gore was to serve in the House and the Senate for nearly three decades. His mother was Pauline (LaFon) Gore. She had the distinction of being one of the first women to graduate from the law school at Vanderbilt University.

Since his father's occupation kept the family mainly in the nation's capital, young Gore grew up in Washington, D.C. He attended St. Alban's Episcopal School for Boys, where he was an honor student and captain of the football team. Gore went to Harvard University. In 1969 he received a B.A. degree, with honors, in government. He was interested in becoming a writer, rather than entering his father's "business" as a politician. After graduation he enlisted in the army, although he opposed the United States' intervention in the Vietnam War.

While stationed in Vietnam, Gore served as an army reporter. He sent some of his stories to a newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee, which published them. After Gore left the military service in 1971, the Nashville Tennessean hired him as an investigative reporter and, later, as an editorial writer. In addition to his journalism career, Gore was a home builder, a land developer, and a livestock and tobacco farmer.

Interested in religion and philosophy, Gore enrolled in the Graduate School of Religion at Vanderbilt University during the 1971-1972 academic year. In 1974 he entered Vanderbilt's law school but left to enter elective office two years later.

In 1976 Gore decided to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Having a famous name, running in the district that sent his father to the Congress for many terms, he won the primary election against eight other candidates and went on to win in the general election. He ran successfully in the three following elections. Gore claimed some early attention in 1980 when he was assigned to the House Intelligence Committee studying nuclear arms. Gore researched and eventually published a comprehensive manifesto on arms restructuring for future security, which was published in the February 1982 issue of Congressional Quarterly. In 1984 Gore campaigned for a seat in the U.S. Senate that had just become vacant. He won that office with a large margin of votes.

While in Congress Gore was interested in several issues. He focused attention on health-related matters and on cleaning up the environment. He worked for nuclear arms control and disarmament, as well as other strategic defense issues. He stressed the potential of new technologies, such as biotechnology and computer development.

The race for the 1988 presidential election attracted Gore. He was only 39 years old at the time. He ran on traditional domestic Democratic views and was tough on foreign policy issues. He failed, however, to develop a national theme for his campaign and was criticized for changing positions and issues. He was successful in gaining public support in the primaries during the early spring and won more votes than any other candidate in southern states. However, he obtained only small percentages of votes in other states and withdrew from the presidential nomination campaigns in mid-April. Two years later he won election to a second term in the U.S. Senate. He chose not to seek the presidency in 1992, citing family concerns (young Albert had been hit by an automobile and was seriously injured). It was during this time that Gore wrote the book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, which expressed his concern, ideas, and recommendations on conservation and the global environment. In the book he wrote about his own personal and political experiences and legislative actions on the environmental issue. One of Gore's statements in the book that sums up his philosophy regarding the environment and human interaction is, "We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization."

Events took a surprising turn in the summer of 1992. Bill Clinton selected Gore as his vice-presidential nominee. The choice startled many people because it ended a long-standing pattern of a candidate choosing a vice presidential nominee to "balance the ticket." Both men were of the same age, region, and reputation and moderate in political outlook. Clinton's idea was to project a new generation of leadership as a campaign theme. Gore did balance Clinton's strength by bringing to the ticket his experience in foreign and defense policy, expertise in environmental and new technology matters, and an image as an unwavering family man.

The highlight for many who followed the campaigns of 1992 was a series of debates, one of which involved Gore and his opponents, Republican Dan Quayle and Independent James Stockdale. The proceedings were marked by moments of high comedy--Quayle and Gore arguing over the wording of Earth in the Balance; Stockdale admitting his hearing aid was off--and clear party positioning. Quayle attacked Gore's record of environmental concern, claiming Gore was placing endangered species over people's jobs. Gore countered that a well-run environmental program would create jobs while preserving nature. Stockdale pointed out that such bickering was exactly why Congress was engulfed in gridlock.

Clinton and Gore won the election in 1992. Gore was inaugurated as the 45th vice president on January 20, 1993. At the age of 44 years, he became one of the youngest people to hold the position. Clinton and Gore were re-elected in 1996, running against Republicans Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.

During his time as vice-president, Gore continued to stress environmental concerns. In 1997 the White House launched an effort to start producing a report card on the health of the nation's ecosystems. This project was carried out by an environmental think tank and initiated by Gore.

Also in 1997, Gore's crystal clear reputation was somewhat tarnished when he was accused of--and admitted to--making fund-raising telephone calls from the White House during the 1996 presidential campaign. Gore held a press conference on March 3, 1997, to defend his actions, saying there was nothing illegal about what he had done, although he admitted it may not have been a wise choice. Gore was also criticized for toasting Li Peng, initiator of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, during a trip to China. In September 1997, Buddhist nuns testified before the Senate panel investigating the abuses of campaign fund-raising. The nuns admitted that donors were illegally reimbursed by their temple after a fund-raiser attended by Gore, and that they had destroyed and/or altered records to avoid embarrassing their temple. Some believe these incidents have further damaged Gore's reputation.

Gore announced his candidacy for the 2000 presidential election on June 16, 1999, in his home state of Tennessee. The Democratic Party formally nominated Gore as its presidential nominee on August 16, 2000. On September 16, 2000, Gore revealed a long-range economic plan that he said would balance the budget, reduce the national debt and keep interest rates low while creating new opportunities for middle-class savings and employment.

Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush, his opponent for the presidency, faced off in one of the closest presidential contest in American history. Each man was poised to take the White House; it all hinged on Florida's 25 electoral votes. Because of outcries about the confusing ballots, Palm Beach officials were expected to do a hand count; however, conflicting rulings over whether to do the hand count forced the issue into court. After Florida officials certified Bush's 537-vote lead over Gore, the vice president contested those results in court. By winning Florida's electoral votes, Bush would have one more than the 270 needed to win the presidency in the Electoral College. Gore held a total of 255 electoral votes. On December 13, 2000, Gore conceded the presidential election to Bush after the United States Supreme Court ruled that recounting Florida votes would be unconstitutional.

With the 2002 mid-term elections approaching and the memory of Election 2000 not yet stale, the Democrats called for revenge and Gore openly accused Bush of creating a lack of confidence in economic leadership in America. But the Democrats' rallying cries went unheard: with Bush's overwhelming popularity following the September 11 terrorist attacks and his ensuing "War on Terrorism," the Republicans won both the House and the Senate and many local elections. Following, a poll was taken regarding Gore's possible bid for Presidency in 2004. The poll revealed that support was not there for Gore as the Democratic candidate and he declined to run.

By 2006, Gore had reinvented himself as leading, vocal environmentalist. That year, his global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, was wildly popular. It became the third highest grossing documentary of all time. An Inconvenient Truth won Gore and the other filmmakers an Academy Award for best documentary and numerous other awards. The film was not Gore's only media work. He was also the creator of Current TV, an interactive cable network targeted at young people. In addition, Gore was the co-organizer of July 7, 2007, Live Earth: The Concert for a Climate in Crisis. This media event in which live concerts took place on all seven continents and aired world-wide to raise awareness about environmental issues.

With the success of An Inconvenient Truth, as well as its companion book of the same name, Gore was repeatedly asked if he would run for president in 2008. He denied any further political ambitions and never sought the presidency in 2008. He found it easier to push for environmental change outside of political office. However, call for Gore to run only increased after he was the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work. Instead, Gore continued his activist work and joined the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner in November 2007. For all his success and influence, Time magazine named him runner-up to person of the year in 2007.

Also in 2007, Gore published The Assault on Reason, which analyzed American society and the continuing dearth of discourse on issues that are relevant for our collective future. He ascribed this to the influence of television, and said that the pervasive influence of television and the poverty of ideas in it were a threat to American democracy. In contrast, he also argued that the Internet can serve as a revitalizing influence on representative democracy.

Gore has continued to work as an activist for environmental causes. He endorsed fellow democrat Barack Obama for president in 2008, and he urged the United States to switch all its energy production to wind, solar, and other carbon-free sources within ten years. In 2009, Gore won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for An Inconvenient Truth.

Writing about Gore in Time, rock singer/activist Bono commented, "Al Gore is the kind of leader these times require. Not as President--God and the Electoral College have given him a different job. As it happens, Al is at work repositioning his country from the inside out as a leader in clean energy ...."

Gore has remained a devoted family man. He married his college sweetheart, Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson, on May 19, 1970. Tipper was born on August 19, 1948, in Washington, D.C. She held a B.A. degree from Boston University and a master of arts in psychology from George Peabody College. She was an active mother and politician's spouse, as well as working to forward her own issues. She gained attention through her efforts to influence the record industry to rate and label obscene and violent lyrics. She was co-founder of the Parents Music Resource Center, which monitors musical and video presentations that glorify casual sex and violence. The Gores have four children: Karenna (born August 6, 1973), Kristin (born June 5, 1977), Sarah (born January 7, 1979), and Albert III (born October 19, 1982). When not in Washington, D.C., the Gores return to the family livestock farm in Carthage, Tennessee.


Born March 31, 1948 in Washington, DC, United States; son of Albert (a senator from Tennessee) and Pauline (an attorney) Gore; married Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson, 1970; children: Karenna, Kristin, Sarah, Albert III. Education: Harvard University, B.S., 1969; Vanderbilt University law school, LL.D. Military/Wartime Service: News correspondent in Vietnam, 1970.


Worked as a journalist for The Tennessean and other periodicals, 1970-76; won Congressional seat, 1976; served in House of Representatives, 1976-84; served as senator for State of Tennessee, 1984-92; elected U.S. vice president, 1992, 1996; ran for Presidency in 2000; launched television network, Current TV, 2005; released documentary An Inconvenient Truth, 2006; published book An Inconvenient Truth, 2006; co-winner of Nobel Peace Prize, 2007; runner up Time man of the year, 2007; Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for An Inconvenient Truth., 2009.

* Writings

* Earth in the Balance, Houghton-Mifflin, 1992.
* An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming, Penguin Viking, 2006.
* The Assault on Reason, Viking, 2007.

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