Al Gore's accomplishments are many and varied, running the gauntlet across a variety of areas and spheres. From his family life to his political career and subsequent activism, the former vice president has many diverse endeavors under his belt.
Born in 1948 in Washington, DC, Al Gore's family ancestry is Scots-Irish. His father was a congressman and his mother was a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. Much of Gore’s time as a youth was spent at the family-farm in Tennessee, although he attended the prestigious St. Albans School in Washington, which is where he met his wife, Mary Elizabeth “Tipper” Aitcheson. Gore went on to Harvard, majoring first in English and later changing to a government major, while Tipper attended Boston University. Upon graduation, Gore enlisted in the army and served in Vietnam. This a true highlight of Al Gore's accomplishments, as he didn’t believe in the war, but enlisted because he knew others had to go due to the draft and didn’t want any special treatment. When he returned to the U.S., Gore attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School and then Vanderbilt’s law school. Al Gore's family life grew when, after marrying Tipper in May of 1970, they had four children: Karenna, Kristin, Sarah and Albert.
Gore entered politics in 1976 when he ran for, and won, his father’s former seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a member of congress for 17 years, and ran for president in 1988, eventually losing the democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis. In 1993, he became vice president under President Bill Clinton. While a Senator, he published his first book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, which dealt with the ecological problems facing the planet, an issue he became interested in while still a Harvard undergraduate.During this time, Al Gore's family faced a crisis when Albert, his six-year-old son, was hit by a car. He was in the hospital for a month and had to undergo major surgery.
Gore, who did not run for president in 1992 due to his son’s accident, did run in 2000. The race was extremely close, with Gore winning the popular vote by around 500,000 but losing the electoral vote and therefore the race. Long an environmental activist, Al Gore's film career is centered on this issue. In 2006 An Inconvenient Truth premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The documentary was a success with both critics and fans, and won an Academy Award for both Best Documentary and Best Original Song.
The documentary, which focused on explaining Gore’s work to educate people about environmental issues, did well at the box office, taking in almost $50 million worldwide. Al Gore's film, along with it’s companion book, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, helped to bring the issues of climate change and environmentalism into the public eye. Al Gore's film and book also helped the former vice president win the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2007.
Al Gore's accomplishments span from political to environmental and back again, and Al Gore's family is continuing to achieve great things: his daughter Karenna assisted with his presidential campaign in 2000 and has published a book, while his daughter Kristin is a screenwriter and published author.
From proud veteran to U.S. Congressman, and from vice president to Novel prizewinner, Al Gore's accomplishments are remarkable.