Al Gore splits from his wife
After 40 years of marriage, couple tells friends they have 'grown apart'
IN THE colourful Clinton era, former US Vice President Al Gore was the poster boy for propriety but last night the environmentalist announced that he and his wife, Tipper, are separating after 40 years of marriage.
His time in office included a White House run, when their sunny relationship offered a counterpoint to President Bill Clinton's philandering.
According to an e-mail circulated among the couple's associates last night, the Gores said it was "a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration." Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the statement came from the Gores, but declined to comment further.
The Gores were telling friends they "grew apart" after 40 years of marriage and there was no affair involved, according to two long-time close associates and family friends, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was a personal matter.
The associates said the Gores, over time, had carved out separate lives, with the former vice president on the road frequently.
Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election to Republican George W Bush. He has since campaigned worldwide to draw attention to climate change, which in 2007 led to a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar for the documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth'.
The Gores, who were married on May 19, 1970, at the National Cathedral in Washington, crafted an image as a happily married couple during his eight-year stint as vice president in the 1990s and a presidential candidate in 2000.
The couple famously exchanged a long kiss during the 2000 Democratic presidential convention.
The image of their warm relationship stood in sharp contrast to the Clinton marriage, rocked by Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, a scandal that hung over Gore's own presidential campaign.
Al Gore at the time said his wife was "someone I've loved since the night of my high school senior prom."
Tipper said in a 2000 campaign interview that Al once gave her a Weedeater for her birthday but had learned to be more sensitive over the years.
"He's very much a gentleman you know, with me around the house," she said. "I know he's dog tired and he could be sitting down and doing something and I need something across the room, he'll get up and get it."
The Gores have four adult children, Karenna, Kristin, Sarah and Albert III.