(From the Associated Press) On Sept. 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, Simon learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore's son, Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get in touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute — food and water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses outside," Simon wrote.
Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite the $50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of California Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them.
He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col. Dar LaFon, an emergency physician who once ran the military hospital at Tallil Air Base in Iraq.
Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans.
About 140 people, many of them sick, landed in Knoxville on Saturday. The second flight, with 130 evacuees, landed the next day in Chattanooga.
Not just financed or donated - Gore actually flew the plane.
(via jaiwithani, copied html directly, 'cause I'm quite lazy like that.) But wow..