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Mary Elizabeth Gore (née Aitcheson) (born August 19, 1948), commonly known as Tipper Gore, is an author, photographer, former Second Lady of the United States, and the wife of Al Gore. She is also well known for her active role in the Parents Music Resource Center and voicing strong opinions for the labelling of record covers of releases featuring profane language, especially in the heavy metal and rap genres.


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

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

She met Gore at his senior prom in 1965. Although she came to the prom with his classmate, Gore and Tipper began to date immediately afterwards. When Gore began Harvard Universitymarker, she enrolled in Garland Junior College (now part of Simmons College) and later transferred to Boston Universitymarker, receiving her B.A. in psychology in 1970. Gore pursued a master's degree in psychology from George Peabody Collegemarker, graduating in 1975. She then worked part-time as a newspaper photographer until her husband was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1976.

On May 19, 1970, she and Gore were married at the Washington National Cathedralmarker. She has four children: Karenna Aitcheson Gore Schiff (born on August 6, 1973), Kristin Carlson Gore
(born on June 5, 1977), Sarah LaFon Gore (born on January 7, 1979), and Albert Gore III (born on October 19, 1982).


Gore is the author of a number of books including:
  • Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society, 1987, ISBN 0687352827
  • Picture This: A Visual Diary, 1996, ISBN 0553067206
  • From the Bottom of Our Hearts, 2002, ISBN 1931718326 (introduction)
  • Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family, 2002, ISBN 0805074503, (with Al Gore)
  • The Spirit of Family, 2002, ISBN 5550151677 (with Al Gore)

Politics and activism

In 1985, she 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. According to an article by NPR, Gore went "before Congress to urge warning labels for records marketed to children." A number of individuals including Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, John Denver, Joey Ramone and Frank Zappa 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."

Gore resigned from the group in 1992 when she became Second Lady. As Second Lady, Gore was one of 150 photographers for 24 Hours in Cyberspace which took place online on 8 February 1996.It was "the largest one-day online event" up to that date, headed by photographer Rick Smolan.

She was actively involved in her husband's presidential campaign in 2000, making numerous campaign stops nationwide such as at Chicagomarker's Taste of Polonia over Labor Day Weekend where she appeared along with Hadassah Lieberman and Dick Cheney.

In 2002, Tipper was urged by her supporters to run for the vacant U.S. Senate seat her husband once held in Tennesseemarker, which was being vacated by Fred Thompson. However, she declined.

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.


  • 1999: Mary Eleanor McGarvah Humanitarian Award


  1. , CNN: Tipper Gore Bio
  2. Next First Lady Will Recast Role - Tipper Gore and Laura Bush
  3. Photo Gallery: Garland Junior College dance
  4. ABC News: Tipper Gore In and Out of Public Eye
  5. Dee Snider's Statement on Censorship to the U.S. Senate
  6. The History of the PMRC
  7. Picture This:Tipper Gore, Photojournalist
  8. "24 Hours in Cyberspace" (and more)
  9. Taste of Polonia
  10. Copernicus Foundation page on the festival
  11. Tipper Gore says no to Senate bid
  12. Tipper Gore Honors Mental Health Achievements
  13. Mary Eleanor McGarvah Humanitarian Award

External links

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