Tipper Gore

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Tipper Gore
Mary Elizabeth Gore.JPG
Second Lady of the United States
In office
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Marilyn Quayle
Succeeded by Lynne Cheney
Personal details
Born Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson
(1948-08-19) August 19, 1948 (age 66)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Al Gore (1970-2010; separated)[1]
Children Karenna, Kristin, Sarah, Albert III
Alma mater Boston University
Occupation Author, photographer
Religion Episcopalian

Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Gore (née Aitcheson; born August 19, 1948) is an author, photographer, was Second Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and the wife of Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, from whom she is currently separated. She became well known for her role in the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), criticizing music with profane language and promoting Parental Advisory stickers (nicknamed "Tipper Stickers") on record covers, especially in the heavy metal, punk and hip hop genres.


Born Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson in Washington, D.C., Tipper Gore is the daughter of John Kenneth "Jack" Aitcheson, Jr., a plumbing-supply entrepreneur, and his first wife, Margaret Ann (née Carlson) Odom (who lost her first husband during World War II). Her nickname, Tipper, derives from the lullaby "Tippy, Tippy, Tin",[2] originally sung in the 1940 Our Gang short All About Hash by child actress Janet Burston. Her ancestry includes English, Scottish, German, and Swedish.[3][4] Gore grew up in Arlington, Virginia. Her parents divorced and she was raised by her mother and grandmother.

Al and Tipper Gore's wedding day, May 19, 1970, at the Washington National Cathedral

She attended St. Agnes (now St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School), a private Episcopal school in Alexandria, Virginia, where she excelled in athletics and played the drums for an all-girl band, The Wildcats.[2]

She met Al Gore at his senior prom in 1965. Although she came to the prom with one of his classmates, Gore and Tipper began to date immediately afterwards.[5] When Al Gore began attending Harvard University, she enrolled in Garland Junior College (now part of Simmons College) and later transferred to Boston University, receiving her B.A. in psychology in 1970.[6][7] Gore pursued a master's degree in psychology from George Peabody College, graduating in 1975.[8] She then worked part-time as a newspaper photographer until her husband was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1976. In 1982, she resumed her photography career, working part-time for Quarante Magazine (1982–1985) published by Kathleen Katz of Arlington.[2]

On May 19, 1970, she and Gore were married at the Washington National Cathedral.[9][10] She has four children: Karenna Aitcheson Gore Schiff[11] (born August 6, 1973), Kristin Carlson Gore[12] (born June 5, 1977), Sarah LaFon Gore[12] (born January 7, 1979), and Albert Gore III (born October 19, 1982).[13] She worked as a photographer for newspapers and magazines, including Quarante Magazine (1982 - 1984), published by Kathleen Katz of Arlington, Virginia.[13] A longtime family friend of Al and Tipper Gore confirmed on June 1, 2010, that the Gores had sent out an e-mail to family friends announcing that they had made a mutual decision to separate.[1]

Gore was mocked by the rock group Warrant on their 1990 album Cherry Pie in the track Ode to Tipper Gore, which included frequent obscenity, due to her involvement with the Parents Music Resource Center.

During the second night of the Spring 2009 Dead tour, Tipper Gore sat in on drums during the closing song, "Sugar Magnolia".[14]

Politics and activism[edit]

From left: Bill Clinton, Tipper Gore, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton

In 1985, Tipper Gore co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) with Susan Baker, wife of then United States Secretary of the Treasury James Baker, because Tipper heard her then 11-year-old daughter playing "Darling Nikki" by Prince.[15] According to an article by NPR, Gore went "before Congress to urge warning labels for records marketed to children."[16] Gore explained that her purpose wasn't to put a "gag" on music but, to keep it safe for younger listeners. A number of individuals including Dee Snider of Twisted Sister,[17] Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys,[18] John Denver (Video on YouTube), Joey Ramone, and Frank Zappa[16] criticized the group, arguing that it was a form of censorship. In response, NPR further stated that according to Gore, she "wasn't out to censor the objectionable material" and quoted her as stating that she is "a strong believer in the First Amendment" who is calling for greater "consumer information in the marketplace."[16]

Gore was actively involved in her husband's presidential campaign in 2000, making numerous campaign stops nationwide such as at Chicago's Taste of Polonia over Labor Day Weekend where she appeared along with Hadassah Lieberman.[19][20]

In 2002, Gore was urged by her supporters to run for the vacant U.S. Senate seat her husband once held in Tennessee, which was being vacated by Fred Thompson; however, she declined.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In 2003, Gore spoke at the "Erasing the Stigma Awards" about her experience with depression after her son, Al Gore III, was hit by a car when he was a young child.[22]

In June 2010, the Gores announced their marital separation, "a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration."[23] In August 2012, The New York Times reported that both Gores were dating other people and have no plans to resume marriage, but that their "bond endures" and their relationship is friendly. "The couple reunites a few times a year, most recently in June, for summer family vacations and Christmases in the Gore family seat of Carthage, Tenn," the newspaper reported.[24]


Tipper Gore is the author of a number of books including:


  1. ^ a b Schelzig, Erik (06-01-2010). "After 40 years of marriage, Tipper and Al Gore part ways". Associated Press through Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved Dec 30, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b c "Tipper Gore Bio". CNN. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  3. ^ William Addams Reitwiesner. "The Ancestors of Tipper Gore". Ancestry of Tipper Gore. William Addams Reitwiesner. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  4. ^ David Maraniss; Ellen Y. Nakashima (2000). The Prince Of Tennessee: The Rise Of Al Gore. Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. p. 259. ISBN 978-0743210508. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ Maraniss, David; Nakashima, Ellen (October 10, 1999). "Al Gore, Growing Up in Two Worlds". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  6. ^ Next First Lady Will Recast Role - Tipper Gore and Laura Bush[dead link]
  7. ^ "Photo Gallery: Garland Junior College dance". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Tipper Gore In and Out of Public Eye". ABC News. January 6, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Gore Chronology". PBS. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  10. ^ Howd, Aimee (December 31, 1999). "Wedding photograph". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  11. ^ Marcano, Tony (1997-03-21). "CHRONICLE". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  12. ^ a b Gore, Al (May 22, 2007). The Assault on Reason. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 1-59420-122-6. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Biography: Gore's road from Tennessee to the White House". CNN. June 16, 1999. 
  14. ^ Ann, Mary. "The Sleuth - The Dead in D.C., a Stirring, Smoky Bipartisan Show". Voices.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2015-01-25. 
  15. ^ Miss Cellania (2 January 2012). "Tipper vs. Music". Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music. The Bathroom Reader Institute. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c Siegel, Robert (2005-01-11). "Tipper Gore and Family Values". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  17. ^ "Dee Snider's Statement on Censorship to the U.S. Senate". VH1. Viacom International Inc. 15 July 2002. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  18. ^ Jello Biafra. "Jello Biafra's Statement for Synthesis/Regeneration magazine". Alternative Tentacles. Alternative Tentacles. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  19. ^ Taste of Polonia
  20. ^ Copernicus Foundation page on the festival
  21. ^ Jonathan Karl, Dana Bash (17 March 2002). "Tipper Gore says no to Senate bid". CNN (Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.). Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  22. ^ Tipper Gore Honors Mental Health Achievements
  23. ^ Amy Argetsinger, Roxanne Roberts (2010-06-02). "40 more years? Not for Al and Tipper Gore, who've announced their separation". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  24. ^ Healy, Patrick (2012-08-25). "The End of the Line". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Marilyn Quayle
Second Lady of the United States
Succeeded by
Lynne Cheney
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Al Gore
Former Vice President
Order of precedence in the United States of America Succeeded by
Dick Cheney
Former Vice President