According to Reuters News, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper are going to separate after 40 years of marriage.
The couple issued the following e-mail to friends and colleages.
"We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate.Â
"This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further."
Reuters obtained the e-mail from POLITICO, and it was confirmed to them by Kalee Kreider of the office of Al and Tipper Gore, who refused to make any additional statements.
Tipper Gore is a professional photographer who in 1996 published "Picture This, A Visual Diary," which she called "a personal photographic representation of life as wife of the vice president."
During Bill Clinton's presidency, Al Gore and his wife Tipper were known to don costumes for an annual Halloween party, which soon became a Washington tradition.
The Gores have four children and live in Tennessee. They marked their 40th wedding anniversary two weeks ago.
It makes me sad to hear of a separation in anyone's marriage, but even more so in one that has lasted for four decades. The Gores always appeared to have such a gentle and natural rapport with one another. I would love to hear that the separation is only on a trial basis and that the couple hopes to work things out, but haven't as of yet found any evidence to support that scenario.