In sad and unexpected news from the political world, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper Gore are calling it quits after four decades together.
The environmental advocate and his spouse have announced, via an e-mail to friends, that they are separating. Their 40th anniversary was just last month.
"We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate," stated the e-mail, first obtained by Politico.com.
"This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration."
The Gores' brief, joint statement concluded: "We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further."
Married since May 1970, Al and Tipper Gore are splitting up.
Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the statement came from the Gores, The Associated Press reports, but declined to elaborate on the matter.
Al Gore became the highest-profile advocate for environmental and climate change issues since losing the 2000 Presidential election by a razor-thin margin.
Tipper Gore is known for advocacy on mental health issues, and for an active role in the Parents Music Resource Center during her husband's time in office.
Al, 61, and Tipper, 60, have four grown children: Karenna, Kristin, Sarah and Al Gore III. We wish the spouses and their kids the best in this tough time.