Environmental activist and former vice president Al Gore has amassed a personal fortune of more than $200 million due to a combination of sustainable investing and being in the right place at the right time, according to a report from Bloomberg News that refers to Gore as 'Romney-Rich' in the headline. Gore's fortune puts him not far behind former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose disclosed fortune was estimated at about $250 million.
Forbes estimated Gore's net worth even higher. This past January, following the sale of Gore's Current TV to Al Jazeera, the magazine calculated that he was worth at least $300 million. Gore reportedly earned about $70 to $100 million from the sale of the cable TV network he helped launch.
Gore was always well-to-do — his father was an oil investor — but his fortunes have ballooned over the past decade. When he ran for president in 1999, his net worth was estimated at only $1.9 million. Most of that was based on the value of his two homes and inheritance.
Gore declined to speak with Bloomberg about his net worth, but he did recently give a tour of his 10,000-square-foot Nashville mansion to New York magazine. He said his defeat in the presidential election left a dark cloud over him, which in many ways still hangs over his head, but at the same time "it seemed like a good time to make some money." He earned lucrative speaking fees, became an early supporter of Silicon Valley, and started investment funds that specialized in long-term, sustainable investments. "Short-termism," he told the magazine, "is a blight on the economy."
Gore's Silicon Valley connections have a great deal to do with his current wealth. After the Current TV sale closed, he also exercised 59,000 share options he held in Apple Inc., where he serves on the company's board. The sale netted him another $30 million. He has also been a long-term advisor to Google, but the company has not disclosed how Gore is compensated for this support.
One area where Gore has not profited is from his climate activism. His books and the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" all fund his nonprofit, the Climate Reality Project. The film did, however, help earn him the Nobel Prize and increased his speaking fees.
Gore's investments in green technology have not been as lucrative. Bloomberg points to his investments in companies like Fisker Automotive, which is currently in a troubled state.
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