US Democratic politician, vice-president of the USA 1993–2001.
The son of a Democratic politician who became senator for Tennessee (1953–71), Al Gore grew up in the American capital and was educated at Harvard and at Vanderbilt University, where he studied law. As a student Gore took part in protests against the Vietnam War, but also served in Vietnam for more than the normal one-year tour of duty, working as an army journalist (1969–71). From 1971 to 1976 he worked as an investigative journalist and editor for The Tennessean, while also running his own house-building and land-development company.
Elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1977, he succeeded to his father's seat as a senator in 1985. Gore's attempt to obtain the presidential nomination in 1988 failed, and rather than repeat the experience he accepted Bill Clinton's invitation to become his running mate as vice-president in 1992. Gore is an effective debater, with a consistent track record for concern on environmental issues and a commitment to the interests of the working poor. As Clinton's administration became engulfed in allegations of financial sleaze and sexual impropriety, Gore, as ‘Mr Clean’, looked increasingly like a politician who had postponed rather than abandoned his presidential ambitions.