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Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was named a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 12 for his work to combat global warming. The 2007 Nobel was awarded to Gore jointly with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The announcement marks the second time in little over a year that someone with Vanderbilt ties has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Last year Muhammad Yunus, PhD’71, was chosen jointly with Grameen Bank for his work helping the poor through small loans.
“Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians,” the Nobel committee said in a statement.”He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change.
“He is probably the single individual who has done the most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”
Gore has longstanding ties to Vanderbilt.He attended Vanderbilt University Graduate School in 1971-72 and Vanderbilt Law School from 1974 to 1976, when he left to run for U.S. Congress. His wife, Tipper, earned a master’s degree in psychology from Peabody College in 1976. Gore’s late mother, Pauline, was one of the first women to graduate from Vanderbilt Law School. Gore’s late sister,Nancy Gore Hunger, earned a Vanderbilt B.A. in 1960.
“The climate crisis is not a political issue. It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all humanity.”
~ Al Gore, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner
Gore has been a friend and frequent visitor to Vanderbilt. From 1992 to 2002, he and Tipper were moderators of the annual Family Re-Union conference.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Prize,”Gore said in a statement.”This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the IPCC–the world’s preeminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis–a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years.”
Gore said he will donate the Nobel prize money (about $750,000) to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit environmental group.
Nobel Laureates with Vanderbilt ties include Stanley Cohen, distinguished professor of biochemistry, emeritus,who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize with Rita Levi-Montalcini for their discoveries of growth factors; Stanford Moore, BA’35,winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Earl Sutherland, professor of physiology,winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries involving mechanisms that trigger hormone action; and Max Delbrück, 1969 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his part in discovering the replication mechanism and genetic structure of viruses.