Funeral Tuesday for Al Gore's father
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, December 7) -- Funeral services for former Sen. Albert Gore Sr., the father of Vice President Al Gore, will be held Tuesday in his home state of Tennessee. Gore, 90, died at his home in Carthage, Tennessee, of natural causes.
"A service for family and friends will be held Tuesday afternoon at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, in Elmwood, Tennessee. Burial will be at Smith County Memorial Gardens in Carthage," the vice president's office confirmed.
President Bill Clinton is expected to attend the event.
A memorial service will also be held at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the War Memorial Auditorium.
Gore died just three weeks before his 91st birthday. The vice president and his wife, Tipper Gore, were at his bedside when he died, according to a statement issued by Gore's Washington office.
Clinton praised the elder Gore as "the embodiment of everything public service ought to be." Speaking aboard Air Force One on his return to Washington from Arkansas, he said that Gore was the role model for young Southerners in the 1960's, like himself.
"The country has lost a great patriot," Clinton said.
When Gore was first elected to the Senate in 1952, he had already served 14 years in the U.S. House, taking time out for service in World War II.
In the 1950s, Gore proposed legislation to create the interstate highway system. He wanted the new highway system to be modelled on the German autobahn system that he had seen during his years in war service. The bill was passed in 1956.
"The multiplication of automobiles and trucks made our narrow, free-access highways completely out of date," Gore said. The interstate system now totals 44,000 miles.
In the same year, Gore was considered for the Democratic vice presidential nomination during the 1956 Democratic National Convention. Delegates eventually settled on another senator, Estes Kefauver.
During his years in the Senate from 1953 to 1971, Gore was a leader among liberals.
In conservative Tennessee, his opposition to the Vietnam War contributed to his defeat in 1970 at the hands of Republican William Brock.
"He might have been himself in national office if he hadn't been just a little too far ahead of his time," Clinton said, praising Gore's pro-integration position on race and his views on the war.
Gore retired from public life after his defeat, vowing, "The truth shall rise again."
Six years after Gore leaving public life, his son and his namesake entered the U.S. House of Representatives. Gore Jr., who made a failed bid for the White House in 1988, was picked by Democratic nominee Clinton to be his vice president in the 1992 election campaign.
When Clinton chose Gore Jr., his father told The New York Times, "We raised him for it. I taught him to work hard and do his duty, and his mother made sure he studied his lessons."
The senior Gore was born on December 26, 1907, in the mountain community of Granville, and moved to the Carthage area when he was 2. He received an early education in the one-room Possum Hollow school and later became a teacher in the one-room school himself. This gave him the money to put himself through Middle Tennessee State College where he graduated in 1932.
Gore met his wife, Pauline LaFon Gore, while she was working as a waitress in Nashville to pay her way through Vanderbilt University law school. They were married in 1937 and for a time operated a joint practice in Carthage. She also ran his Washington office while he was away during the war.
Gore and his wife, also had a daughter, Nancy, who died of lung cancer at age 45 in 1984.
The Gore family has requested that all memorial contributions be made to the Nancy Gore Hunger Fund and other charities.
Monday, December 7, 1998
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