Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.

Gore, Albert Arnold, Jr., 1948–, Vice President of the United States (1993–2001), b. Washington, D.C., grad. Harvard, 1969. After serving in the army in Vietnam and working as a reporter, he was elected (1976) to the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee as a Democrat. In the Senate (1985–93), Gore emerged as a defender of environmental causes and an authority on nuclear arms control; his concerns for the environment were spelled out in his book Earth in the Balance (1992). In 1988 he was unsuccessful in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but, in 1992, Bill Clinton chose him as his running mate. As vice president, Gore formulated policy for reducing the cost and size of the federal government and was an advocate for the Internet and for environmental protection.

In 1996, Clinton and Gore were reelected. Gore immediately was regarded as the leading candidate for his party's 2000 presidential nomination; he began actively campaigning in 1999 and won a majority of the Democratic delegates early in 2000. Gore chose Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman as his running mate. Despite winning the popular vote, the Democratic ticket lost to Republicans George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Gore's campaign was hurt by the Green party candidate, Ralph Nader, and the extremely narrow loss of Florida's electoral votes. Gore sought manual recounts of computer punch card ballots from heavily Democratic Florida counties, but ultimately lost (Dec. 12) in the Supreme Court, which split 5–4 along ideological lines. Subsequent studies of the ballots by newspapers indicated (2001) that the outcome of the election in Florida depended on the method used to recount the ballots and on the counties whose votes were recounted. The legal, political, and media battles fought over the election, as well as the delay in finalizing the results, made the 2000 presidential vote the most contentious since the Hayes-Tilden election in 1876.

Soon after the election, Gore began teaching journalism at Columbia. In 2005 he cofounded Current TV, a news and features network whose programming was created in part by viewers; the network, which had limited success, was sold in 2013. Gore also renewed his work on behalf of the environment, which crested in 2006 with his book An Inconvenient Truth and a documentary of the same name (Academy Award, 2007); both deal with the perils of global warming. In 2007 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their efforts to alert people to the threats posed by climate change caused by human activity and for their work in helping to disseminate information on possible solutions. Later that year he became a partner in a private equity firm with strong interests in "green" technology. In 2008 he received the $1 million Dan David Present Prize for his environmental work. His other books are The Assault on Reason (2006), an analysis of the failures of the United States as a participatory democracy, and The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change (2013), a discussion of factors that are changing the contemporary world. Gore is the son of Albert Arnold Gore, Sr., 1907–98, a politician and Democratic senator from Tennessee (1953–71).

See biography of the son by B. Turque (2000); H. Gillman, The Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election (2001); Washington Post political staff, Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election (2001).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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