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After 40 years of marriage, Tipper and Al Gore part ways

In e-mail circulated among the couple's associates, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, announced that they are separating.

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Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, are separating after 40 years of marriage that included a White House run when their sunny relationship offered a counterpoint to President Bill Clinton's philandering.

According to an e-mail circulated among the couple's associates on Tuesday, the Gores said it was "a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration."

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the statement came from the Gores, but declined to comment further.

The Gores were telling friends they "grew apart" after 40 years of marriage and there was no affair involved, according to two longtime close associates and family friends, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was a personal matter.

The associates said the Gores, over time, had carved out separate lives, with the former vice president on the road frequently. One of the associates said: "Their lives had gotten more and more separated."

Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election to Republican George W. Bush. He has since campaigned worldwide to draw attention to climate change, which in 2007 led to a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar for the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

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