He later said he went there in order to explore "spiritual issues", In 1974, he took a leave of absence from The Tennessean to attend Vanderbilt University Law School. Evins unexpectedly announced his retirement from Congress, making the Tennessee's 4th congressional district seat, to which he had succeeded Albert Gore Sr. Within hours after The Tennessean publisher John Seigenthaler Sr.

His decision to become an attorney was a partial result of his time as a journalist, as he realized that, while he could expose corruption, he could not change it. called him to tell him the announcement was forthcoming, Gore's abrupt decision to run for the open seat surprised even himself; he later said that "I didn't realize myself I had been pulled back so much to it." The news came as a "bombshell" to his wife.

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Gore won the popular vote, but lost the election to Republican opponent George W. A controversial election dispute over a Florida recount was settled by the U. Gore has received a number of awards that include the Nobel Peace Prize (joint award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007), a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (2009) for his book An Inconvenient Truth, a Primetime Emmy Award for Current TV (2007), and a Webby Award (2005). During his sophomore year, he reportedly spent much of his time watching television, shooting pool, and occasionally smoking marijuana.

Gore was also the subject of the Academy Award-winning (2007) documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. Gore was in college during the era of anti-Vietnam War protests.

In 1981, Gore was quoted as saying with regard to homosexuality, "I think it is wrong", and "I don't pretend to understand it, but it is not just another normal optional life style." In his 1984 Senate race, Gore said when discussing homosexuality, "I do not believe it is simply an acceptable alternative that society should affirm." He also said that he would not take campaign funds from gay rights groups.

Although he maintained a position against homosexuality and gay marriage in the 1980s, Gore said in 2008 that he thinks "gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women..join together in marriage." During his time in the House, Gore sat on the Energy and Commerce and the Science and Technology committees, chairing the Science Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for four years.

His experiences in the war zone don't seem to have been deeply traumatic in themselves; although the engineers were sometimes fired upon, Gore has said he didn't see full-scale combat.

Still, he felt that his participation in the war was wrong." Although his parents wanted him to go to law school, Gore first attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School (1971–72) on a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship for people planning secular careers.

In 2007, he was named a runner-up for Time Gore was born in Washington, D. He was against that war, but he disagreed with the tactics of the student protest movement.

He thought that it was silly and juvenile to use a private university as a venue to vent anger at the war.

His orders to be sent to Vietnam were "held up" for some time, and the Gore family suspected that this was due to a fear by the Nixon administration that if something happened to him, his father would gain sympathy votes.