Gore, Albert Arnold, Jr.

Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps

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He has been a reporter, an environmentalist, a congressman, and served as vice president of the United States, but Al Gore may go down in history as the unsuccessful candidate in possibly the most contested presidential race the United States has ever seen. Having spent the majority of his life in the political ring, Gore made two unsuccessful bids for the presidency. The first came in 1988, when he was a fledgling senator; the second was in 2000, following two terms as vice president under BILL CLINTON. In the protracted 2000 race, Gore won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote to GEORGE W. BUSH. He became the third candidate in history to receive the greatest share of the popular vote, but lose the presidency. In 2002, Gore announced that he would not try for the office a third time, claiming,"there are many other exciting ways to serve."

Gore was born in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1948. His father, Albert Gore Sr., at the time served 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

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was Pauline LaFon Gore. She had the distinction of being one of the first women to graduate from the law school at Vanderbilt University.

Gore attended St. Alban's Episcopal School for Boys in Washington, D.C., where he was an honor student and captain of the football team. In 1969, he received a B.A. with honors in government from Harvard University. He was interested in becoming a writer, rather than following his father's footsteps as a politician. After graduation he enlisted in the army, although he opposed the intervention of the United States in the VIETNAM WAR.

While stationed in Vietnam, Gore served as an army reporter. 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?72 academic year. In 1974, he entered Vanderbilt's law school but left to enter elective office two years later.

In 1976, Gore ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He won the primary election against eight other candidates and went on to win in the general election. He ran...

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