Tipper Gore Biography

Journalist, Photographer (1948–)
Photographer and activist Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, co-founded the Parents' Music Resource Center, and was Clinton’s mental health advisor.


Tipper Gore was born on August 19, 1948, in Washington, D.C. In 1980, when her husband was elected Tennessee senator, she took up political causes. In 1985, she co-founded the Parents' Music Resource Center. In 1992, when her husband became vice president, Clinton appointed her his mental health advisor. Following her husband's loss in the 2000 elections, she became absent from the public arena.

Early Life and Education

Political activist, photographer and former spouse of Vice President Al Gore Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson was born on August 19, 1948, in Washington, D.C. and raised in Arlington, Virginia. Nicknamed Tipper by her mother, she grew up inside the beltway and met her future husband, Al Gore, at a high school graduation dance. In 1970, they were married at Washington's National Cathedral, and in the same year she received a degree in psychology from Boston University.

After receiving her masters she became an avid photographer and worked in Nashville for the Tennessean until her husband was elected to Congress as a Democratic representative in 1976. In 1980, Al Gore was elected to Congress as a Tennessee senator, and Tipper took up political causes in her new capacity as a successful politician's wife.

Parents' Music Resource Center

In 1985, she co-founded the Parents' Music Resource Center (PMRC) to promote parental and consumer awareness of questionable content in some popular entertainment marketed to children. The PRMC was very successful in its aims, and was responsible for the adoption of consumer warning labels on musical recordings with violent or explicit lyrics. She also advocated greater public awareness of health problems such as AIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and for issues such as mental health.

Political Presence

In 1992, her husband was elected vice president to Bill Clinton, and she continued her political activism in this new role. President Clinton, who incidentally shares the same birthday, appointed her as his official and mental health advisor.

Following her husband's loss in the 2000 presidential elections, the Gore's became conspicuously absent from the public arena. In March of 2002, rumors abounded that Tipper was considering a run for the Senate seat held by Republican Fred Thompson. However, Tipper eventually decided not to make a bid for the slot once held by husband, Al.

Personal Life

Although Tipper and Al Gore have not officially divorced, as of 2010 they candidly announced that they were separating after 40 years of marriage and since then they have both been dating outside of their marriage. Following the separation, Tipper has been romantically linked to Bill Allen, the former editor-in-chief of National Geographic.

Tipper has also published several collections of her photography, and the proceeds of these books went to charity. The Gores have four children: Karenna, born in 1973, Kristin, born in 1977, Sarah, born in 1979, and Albert III, born in 1982.

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