WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, a couple who stuck together throughout his long career in politics, announced on Tuesday they had decided to separate after 40 years of marriage.
The Gores, in an e-mail message to friends confirmed by spokeswoman Kalee Kreider, said the decision was made “after a great deal of thought and discussion.”
“This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration,” they said. “We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”
Al Gore, 62, a Democrat, who was Bill Clinton’s vice president for eight years, narrowly lost the presidency to Republican George W. Bush in 2000 and won a Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award in 2007 for his work against global climate change.
He has maintained a heavy travel schedule in pushing the theme of climate protection.
Tipper Gore, 61, is an avid photographer whose photos are linked on www.algore.com.
She was active in the 1980s in trying to get record companies to put warning labels on their records about profane lyrics. They have four children, all adults.
The Gores left the impression of a couple deeply in love during the Democratic National Convention in 2000, when they exchanged a long, passionate kiss on stage that became famous.
They were reported in May they had purchased an $8.8 million ocean-view villa in Montecito, California.
“Total shock” was how some in the broad Clinton-Gore community were describing the reaction to the news.
Married in 1970, Al and Tipper were together during Al Gore’s complete career in politics, which spanned terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, representing Tennessee, and on to the vice presidency.
Compared to the seemingly rocky marriage between Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Gores by all accounts had seemed to have a rock-solid relationship.
Editing by Sandra Maler