10 Things You Didn't Know About Al Gore

10 facts about the former vice president.


Compiled by the U.S. News library staff

1. Albert Arnold Gore Jr. was born on March 31, 1948, in Washington, D.C. His father, Albert Gore Sr., served in the House of Representatives and the Senate for more than two decades. His mother, Pauline LaFon Gore, was the first woman to graduate from Vanderbilt University Law School. Gore was an honor student and captain of the football team at St. Alban's Episcopal School for Boys.

2. He met his wife, Tipper, at his senior prom; Tipper came to the event with another date, the son of a federal judge. Al and Tipper married in 1970 at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

3. He attended Harvard University, where he and actor Tommy Lee Jones became friends. He initially wanted to be a novelist but graduated with honors in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in government.

4. Though Gore opposed the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Army in 1969 and served as a reporter for the Army Flier at Alabama's Fort Rucker. He appeared in uniform for one of his father's campaign commercials. The commercial ended with his father saying, "Son, always love your country." He spent six months in Vietnam, less than half of a normal tour, and received an early out to attend Vanderbilt University.

5. He took religious studies classes at Vanderbilt University in 1971 while working full time as an investigative reporter for the Nashville Tennessean. He enrolled in the Vanderbilt law school in 1974 but left the university two years later to run for—and win—a seat in the House of Representatives.

6. Gore ran for president in 1988 but was defeated in the Democratic primaries by Michael Dukakis.

7. In 1989, his 6-year-old son Albert was hit by a car and nearly killed. The accident factored into his decision not to run for president in 1992.

8. President Clinton selected him as his running mate in 1992. At age 44, Al became one of the youngest people to hold the office of vice president.

9. Known for coming across as wooden and dull, Gore used to poke fun at himself during campaign stops with jokes like, "How can you tell Al Gore from his Secret Service agents? He's the stiff one," and "Al Gore is so boring his Secret Service code name is 'Al Gore.' "

10. He is the second vice president to win a Nobel Peace Prize; Charles Dawes received one in 1925 for his World War I reconstruction work in Europe.

Encyclopedia of World Biography
Washington Post
New York Times
U.S. Senate