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Al Gore is an environmentalist, politician, the 45th Vice President of the United States, and ran for president in 2000 as the Democratic nominee. A gaffe occurred in 1999 as Al Gore prepared to run for president, where he alluded that he invented the internet, but this is untrue. His activism and writings dealing with the dangers of climate change, including his book/movie An Inconvenient Truth, earned him the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize in joint with the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Young Life, Marriage, and Family

Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr., was born on March 31, 1948, in Washington, D.C. He is the second and last child of Albert Gore, Sr., and Pauline LaFon. His father served as both a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator. His mother graduated from Vanderbilt University and one of the first women graduates of their Law School. He lived with his family in Washington, D.C.’s Fairfax Hotel during the school year. In summer, he went to Carthage, Tennessee to work on the family farm.

Al Gore enrolled in St. Albans from 1965 to 1965, an independent and well-known preparatory day/boarding school. He captained the football team, played basketball, threw discus, and participated in student government. In 1965, he met Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson, who attended St. Agnes nearby at his school’s senior prom. She followed him to Boston and they married on Mary 19, 1970. They have four children together Kareanna (1973), Kristin Carlson (1977), Sarah LaFon (1979), and Albert Arnold Gore, III (1982).[1] He began dating Elizabeth Keadle, a donor and environmental activist, in 2012, after he and Aitcheson separated two years earlier.[2]

Harvard, the Army, and Early Career

In 1965, Al Gore began at Harvard College. He first majored in English, but changed to Government. He started campaigning for the freshman’s student council on his second day and they elected him. He did not perform well during his first few years, but improved his grades in his last two. He took a class with Roger Revelle, a global warming theorist and oceanographer, his senior year.

Al Gore’s experience in the Vietnam War did not change his anti-war views.

Gore learned about climate change and this drew his attention to that and other environmental causes. In June 1969, he graduated cum laude. He did not participate in the anti-Vietnam war movement at the university. He did, however, help his father write an anti-war speech for the 1968 Democratic National Convention.[3]

Gore’s graduation made him eligible for the draft. Since his father faced a reelection campaign in 1970, Gore chose to enlist in the Army to improve his father chances of being elected and supporting the anti-war movement. He attended Fort Dix for basic training between August and October. The Army assigned him to Fort Rucker, Alabama as a journalist. On January 2, 1971, he went to Vietnam as a journalist for The Castle Courier in Bien Hoa with the 20th Engineer Brigade.

In May 1971, Gore received an honorable discharge.[4] He then worked for a short time for The Tennessean as a reporter and then attended Vanderbilt University Law School in 1974. He did not finish law school, but decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976.[5]

U.S. Congress and Al Gore’s 1988 Presidential Campaign

Al Gore won the Democratic primary in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional district in 1976 and again in 1978, 1980, and 1982. Then Gore ran for a seat in the Senate being vacated by Howard Baker, the Republican Senate Majority Leader. As a congressman, he supported nuclear arms control, gun control, the Gulf War, biomedical research, and environmental conscientiousness, and opposed the government funding abortion and homosexuality.[6]

In 1988, Gore turned his eye on the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party against Gary Hart, Paul Simon, Joe Biden, Jesse Jackson, Dick Gephardt, and Michael Dukakis, who won the primary. Gore finished third, but ran as the "youngest serious Presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy,” at age 39.[7]

Vice Presidency

Throughout his political roles, Al Gore always focused on using technological advancement as a means to conquer important issues.

Al Gore joined William Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign as the Vice President on the Democratic ticket. They were inaugurated on January 20, 1993, and Gore quickly became President Clinton’s main advisor, other than the First Lady, Hilary Clinton. He focused on "waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government and advocated trimming the size of the bureaucracy and the number of regulations,” during his tenure. [8]

Gore also supported funding technological advancement that helped with the creation of the National Information Infrastructure and coining the term, Information Superhighway, to describe the internet.[9]

Al Gore, the 2000 Presidential Campaign, and the Nobel Prize

During an interview with Wolf Blitzer on March 8, 1999, Al Gore indiscriminately suggested he invented the internet. [10] This gaffe appeared during the 2000 presidential campaign, but Gore laughed it off. Al Gore announced his candidacy for the 2000 presidential campaign in Carthage, Tennessee, on June 16, 1999.[11]

On election day in November 2000, Florida did not turn over their election results as the count was too close to call. Gore’s team demanded a recount. George W. Bush eventually won Florida by only 537 votes and solidified his presidential victory.[12]

Al Gore fought for environmentalism his entire political career and continued after it finished. He produced the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to share his views on climate change and garner support for environmental protection policies.[13] He wrote An Inconvenient Truth as a book as well and also authored Earth in the Balance. Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change."[14]



Zelnick, B. (1999). Gore: A Political Life. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing.


  1. Zelnick, 1999
  2. The Reliable Source (2012, May 17). Al Gore has a girlfriend: California donor and activist Elizabeth Keadle. Washington Post.[1]
  3. Henneberger, M. (2000, June 21). Al Gore’s journey: On Campus Torn by 60’s, Agonizing Over the Path. The New York Times.[2]
  4. Henneberger, M. (2000, July 11). Al Gore’s Journey: For Gore, Army Years Mixed Vietnam and Family Politics. The New York Times.[3]
  5. Zelnick, 1999
  6. Zelnick, 1999
  7. Maraniss, D., & Nakashima, E. (1999, October 10). Al Gore, Growing Up in Two Worlds. Washington Post.[4]
  8. United States Senate. (2016). Albert A. Gore, Jr., 45th Vice President (1993-2001). Senate History.[5]
  9. Broad, W. J. (1992, November 10). Clinton to Promote High Technology, With Gore in Charge. The New York Times.[6]
  10. Kessler, G. (2013, November 4). A cautionary tale for politicians: Al Gore and the “invention” of the Internet. Washington Post. [7]
  11. AllPolitics (1999, June 16). Gore Launches Presidential Campaign. CNN.[8]
  12. Bush v. Gore 531 U.S. 98 (2000)[9]
  13. Gore, A. An Inconvenient Truth (Movie).[10]
  14. The Nobel Foundation. (2007). Al Gore - Biographical. The Nobel Peace Prize 2007.[11]

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