Al Gore was inaugurated as the 45th Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993. President Clinton chose then Senator Gore to be his running mate on July 9, 1992. He was formally nominated as the Democratic nominee for Vice President one week later at the Democratic National Convention in New York.
As Vice President, Gore is actively involved in a wide range of Administration initiatives as well as being an advisor to the President on foreign policy. At the request of President Clinton, he heads the effort to reinvent the federal government to make it work better and cost less. His comprehensive report to the President, the National Performance Review, produced hundreds of specific recommendations and cost-savings reforms to improve the federal government and save taxpayers money. About 80 percent of those recommendations already are being put in place across the federal government. He continues his reinvention work, visiting federal agencies and employees each week.
Among elected officials, Vice President Gore's environmental record is unparalleled. In June 1992, he chaired the U.S. Senate Delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was the world's largest gathering ever of heads of state to focus on the environment. He also is the author of the national best-seller EARTH IN THE BALANCE: Ecology and the Human Spirit which outlines an international plan of action to confront the global environmental crisis.
Last year, President Clinton and Vice President Gore unveiled the Global Climate Change Action Plan, a public-private partnership to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere while promoting economic development,. Gore was instrumental in breaking the gridlock on the national wetlands policy and in forging an historic partnership between government and industry to develop a new generation of fuel-efficient vehicles. He recently unveiled the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, an international project to coordinate the work of children, educators and scientists in monitoring the global environment.
In his effort to help revitalize America's communities, Gore has traveled the country to meet with people who live in poverty-stricken inner cities and rural areas to hear what they need to rebuild their lives and their homes. He chairs the Community Enterprise Board of the President's Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community program, which will designate certain areas of the country as eligible to receive federal assistance and subject to strategic plans for revitalization.
In his continuing effort to support and strengthen families, Vice President Gore has moderated three annual Family Reunion Conferences, bringing together policy makers, experts in the field, family members and grass-roots service providers to address issues that affect families. Most recently, Vice President Gore focused on the role of men in children's lives, calling for a change in culture to involve them physically, emotionally and financially., Results from these conferences have been incorporated into such policy initiatives as the National Performance Review and the Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community Program.
Vice President Gore also is a nationally recognized leader on technology. When he was a member of the U.S. Senate, Gore introduced and steered to passage the High Performance Computing Act to create a national, high-speed computer network and increase research and development of high-performance technologies. That legislation was signed into law in 1991, and is now part of President Clinton's technology and economic plan, the National Information Infrastructure, to help more the United States into the 21st Century.
To help strengthen and support democracy and economic development in countries throughout the world, Vice President Gore proposed the development of a Global Information Infrastructure. He led the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of the first freely elected President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and has worked closely with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to build a partnership between the two former adversaries. The Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission was formed by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin to foster economic cooperation between their nations, particularly on the issues of space cooperation, business, science and technology, defense conversion, energy and the environment. His leadership was critical in getting passage through Congress of the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.
Gore's Congressional career began when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 where he served eight years representing the then 4th District of Tennessee. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and was re-elected in 1990, becoming the first candidate in modern history -- Republican or Democrat -- to win all 95 of Tennessee's counties. A candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 1988, Gore won more than three million votes and Democratic contests in seven states.
On arms control, Vice President Gore is recognized as an expert because of his mastery of the intricacies of these issues. In 1982 he introduced a landmark comprehensive arms control plan that later became one of the central features of the U.S. negotiating position in the START talks; his pioneering proposal to eliminate land-based, multiple-warhead missiles on both sides was adopted between the United States and Russia. In addition, Gore was the author of legislation aimed at stopping the proliferation of nuclear missile technology to Third World countries.
An advocate for consumers and taxpayers throughout his life in public service, Gore has taken on the cable television industry, manufacturers of contact lenses, telephone companies, and the federal government, leading investigations into the lack of quality control in the U.S. space program, government waste, inadequate nutrition, and labeling of food products and toys that are hazardous to children. Gore's legislation to stop the skyrocketing cable television rate increases of the past decade was signed into law in 1992.
Gore was born on March 31, 1948, and is the son of former U.S. Senator Albert Gore, Sr. and Pauline Gore. Raised in Carthage, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., he received a degree in government with honors from Harvard University in 1969. After graduation, he volunteered for enlistment in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. Returning to civilian life, Vice President Gore became an investigative reporter with The Tennessean in Nashville. He attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Vanderbilt Law School and operated a small homebuilding business.
Vice president Gore is married to the former Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson. They have four children: Karenna (born August 6, 1973), Kristin (born June 5, 1977), Sarah (born January 7, 1979), and Albert III (born October 19, 1982). Vice President Gore owns a small farm near Carthage, and the family attends New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Carthage.