Do you have some Peace Corps trivia? Send it to jpcoyne@cnr.edu
Was Al Gores Sister A Peace Corps Volunteer?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE has said on a few occasions that his older sister, Nancy, was a Peace Corps Volunteer. While Nancy Gore did have a Peace Corps history, it was not as a Volunteer. A friend, who worked in the Peace Corps building in the very early days, emailed PeaceCorpsWriters,org about Al Gore’s connection to the agency:

    Nancy Gore, Al’s older sister and the daughter of Senator Albert Gore, and Sally Bowles, daughter of Chester Bowles, former Connecticut Congressman, Undersecretary of State, and Ambassador to India, shared an office in the the Maiatico Building, the first Peace Corps office at 806 Connecticut Avenue when I started working in recruitment there in July, 1960. I remember that there was a large poem/sign over the door: “Sally Bowles and Nancy Gore, I don’t want to go to war!”
         Little Albert used to come there from Saint Albans School and wait for Nancy to finish work and take him home, so we put him to work around the office. He was as nice a young boy as you would want.
         The culprit for saying that Nancy (along with Sally) were the first “volunteers” was no other than the granddaddy of all Peace Corps myth and overstatements, R. Sargent Shriver. In his recruiting (and other) speeches — and I attended a lot of them — he would say that the “first volunteers were Nancy Gore and Sally Bowles who walked into our temporary offices and said ‘what can we do?’” Then Sarge would boast about Chester Bowles and Senator Gore. Sarge never insinuated that either were overseas Volunteers, as there were none at the beginning. But Sarge used Nancy and Sally as examples because he wanted the Peace Corps (here and overseas) to be full of famous, interesting people. Sally and Nancy were a signal to American youth that even the children of famous people were excited about the Peace Corps.
         I am also sure that Sally and Nancy worked quite a while without getting paid. I recall their talking about just starting to work without any pay. If I had the impression that his sister was volunteering for the Peace Corps, well, I’m sure Al did as well.

When Nancy Gore did get on the payrolls at the Peace Corps she became the assistant to the Associate Director for Planning and Evaluation. Sally Bowles became a Volunteer liaison officer in the Division of Volunteer Field Services. Sally was actually a charter member of the Peace Corps Staff, arriving for work on March 1, 1961, the day that President Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the agency.

Home | Back Issues | Resources | Archives | Site Index | Search | About us | To contact us

Bibliography of Peace Corps Writers | PC writers by country of service

E-mail the webmaster@peacecorpswriters.org with comments
or to be added to the new-issue notice list.
Copyright © 2008 PeaceCorpsWriters.org, (formerly RPCV Writers & Readers)
All rights reserved.