Wife of the Al Gore, former vice president of the USA.
In 1985 she co-founded the PMRC to put warning labels on music with "adult" content. (Because of this her name is virtually a synonym for "narrow-minded" for many people, particularly rappers).
She also advocated greater public awareness of health problems such as AIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and for issues such as mental health.
She has 4 children.
Tipper Gore was born Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson in 1948 and got her famous nickname from her mother because of her love for the nursery rhyme "Tippy Tippy Tin". She grew up in Arlington, Virginia and her parents divorced when she was 4. She met her husband, Vice President Al Gore, at his high school prom and married him in 1970, when he was serving in the US Army.

She holds a BA from Boston University (1970) and an MA from Vanderbilt University (1975), both in psychology. She was a photojournalist for the Nashville Tennessean (where her husband was a reporter) until 1976, when Al Gore was elected to the US Congress. She gave up her job as a photographer and her plans to get a Ph.D. and become a psychologist to become a political wife and soccer mom.

Tipper and Al have four children - Karenna Gore Schiff (27), Kristin Gore (23), Sarah Gore (21), and Albert Gore III (18) – and one grandchild – Wyatt Gore Schiff (1 1/2), son of Karenna and Drew Schiff.

Al Gore served as vice president to President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2000. Typically, the first lady and the wife of the vice president (second lady?) champion particular issues, and her issue was mental illness. Aside from her academic background, this was a personal issue for her, because after her son (then 6) was struck by a car in 1989, she was treated for depression through counseling and drugs. She expanded her campaign to specifically highlight mentally ill homeless. She also remained an avid photographer, publishing a photographic chronicle of her life as second lady called Picture This: A Visual Diary (1996) and donating the proceeds to mental health care for the homeless.

However, to many people, Tipper Gore’s name is synonymous with only one thing: music censorship. This reputation comes from her work with the PMRC and her book Raising PG Kids in an X Rated Society (which was probably ghostwritten). It’s quite ironic for an avid music fan and a woman who, in high school, was a member of an all-girl rock band called the Wildcats.

It all started when Tipper was listening to Karenna’s copy of Prince’s Purple Rain in 1984. She was shocked when she got to the song "Darling Nikki", a tune containing the line "masturbating with a magazine" (gasp!). She reacted not as a music fan and musician, but as an overprotective parent.

With Susan Baker (wife of James Baker), Pam Howar (wife of a real estate developer), and a number of Congressional wives she founded the Parent’s Music Resource Center (PMRC). The PMRC quickly became one of the most prominent critics of rock music in the 1980s. The Senate Commerce Committee (of which Al Gore was a member at the time) held hearings on the subject.

Many in the music industry bitterly opposed any proposal to regulate the content of lyrics as censorship. One of the most prominent and outspoken critics of the PMRC was Frank Zappa, and with his statement to the Commerce Committee he eloquently spoke out against any form of such censorship. Zappa was dead on when he noted that the PMRC had proposed legislative and prohibitive methods at the expense of methods that do not sacrifice free expression, such as education initiatives.

Despite all the publicity, the PMRC achieved little. Some credit the PMRC with creating a climate antithetical to free expression in music, but they merely tapped into a feeling that many parents have when confronted with cultural products which seem to oppose values they hold. The problem was that the organization, like most similar groups, was not dominated by those who were merely concerned parents like Tipper Gore, but by far-right fundamentalist Christians who had no sympathy for the First Amendment or alternative points of view. They were responsible for those "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" stickers, which, while lamentable, are voluntary, and largely irrelevant unless you live in a small town with a Walmart as the only record store.

For her work with the PMRC, she was at the receiving end of a torrent of bitter criticism. Among other names, she was called a "cultural terrorist" by Frank Zappa and "KKK Bitch" by Ice-T. And she deserved every minute of it for both proposing measures tantamount to censorship and falling in with a bunch of right-wing yahoos. Both Al and Tipper Gore have repudiated their work with the PMRC; Al called it "a mistake."

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I think what the PMRC did was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. But I also think it’s wrong that this woman is the poster child for censorship a decade and a half after she ended any such efforts, especially when there are so many others feverishly working to effectively eliminate the First Amendment on a daily basis. So, after so much time, can we please let it go? Artists and activists are jailed, beaten, and killed all over the world. Go read an Amnesty International report about someone being tortured with electrodes hooked up to their genitals and then tell me that Tipper Gore is worse than Adolf Hitler. Go visit websites for organizations like the ACLU and the Freedom Forum and see how our rights are being eroded every day. Check out what guys like Jesse Helms, James Dobson, and Daniel Wildmon are up to. Amazingly enough, Tipper Gore has nothing to do with any of it.

And because she doesn't like songs about masturbation, she hates blacks? Please, shut the fuck up.

Some songs mentioning Tipper Gore:

BWP (Bytches With Problems), "Pro-Me"
Alice Donut, "Tipper Gore"
Eminem, "White America"
Ice-T, "Freedom of Speech"
Ice-T (with Body Count), "KKK Bitch"
KMFDM, "Sucks"
Manic Street Preachers, "If White America Told The Truth For One Day Its World Would Fall Apart"
Megadeth, "Hook in Mouth"
The Ramones, "Censorshit"
Todd Rundgren, "Jesse"
Malcolm Tent, "Washington Wives"
Warrant, "Ode to Tipper Gore"
Frank Zappa, "Porn Wars"

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