December 17th, 2013
01:43 PM ET

Radio preacher who predicted doomsday dies

(CNN) - The broadcast preacher who predicted the world would end in 2011 and spread his doomsday message through billboards and RV caravans has died, according to a statement from his Family Radio network.

Harold Camping died Sunday afternoon after suffering a fall in his home on November 30, the statement said. He had suffered a stroke in June 2011, a few weeks after his doomsday date came and went.

He died at age 92, an operator at Family Radio said.

"He passed away peacefully in his home, with his family at his side," the statement said. Camping is survived by his wife of 71 years, Shirley.

For months in early 2011, Camping predicted that Jesus Christ would return to the earth on May 21 that year, and that a select 2% to 3% of the world’s population would be raptured, or taken to heaven.

Those left behind would face months of tribulation before perishing in the Earth's destruction, which Camping said would happen on October 21, 2011.

MORE ON CNN: Road trip to the end of the world

When his May 21 prediction failed to pan out, Camping took the radio airwaves to say that he had misinterpreted the nature of the rapture but that the world would still end on October 21.

The following year, Camping admitted he was wrong and said he was getting out of the forecasting business.

"We humbly acknowledge we were wrong," Camping and his staff members wrote in a letter to supporters posted on Family Radio's website in March 2012.

"We must also openly acknowledge that we have no new evidence pointing to another date for the end of the world. Though many dates are circulating, Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date."

Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958. It received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009.

He first inaccurately predicted the world would end in 1994. Despite his poor track record, he had gathered many followers. Some gave up their homes, entire life savings and jobs because they believed the world was ending.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: End times

soundoff (1,057 Responses)
  1. Mary

    If the universe is a simulation, then why couldn't his prediction have been correct elsewhere in the simulation?

    December 18, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • snowboarder


      December 18, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • B

      Because you are stupid.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • Mary

        Why don't you elaborate?

        December 18, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "How can mirrors be real if our eyes aren't real?"
      – Jayden Smith (adolescent actor/prophet)

      December 18, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  2. snowboarder

    i didn't realize this joker was still alive

    December 18, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Mary

      Why must he be a joker, instead of a smoker, or a midnight toker?
      Why can't he get his loving on the run?

      December 18, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  3. snowboarder

    some nutjob will go on predicting some imaginary religious doomsday or another for the entire time of human existence.

    at least that is one thing that we never have to worry about.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  4. Ed

    Doomsday for this deceiver

    December 18, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • snowboarder

      ...as if any preacher is not a deceiver.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  5. Cheenoo

    Guess he didn't predicted that. Lol.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  6. bcw

    His followers now have to do their own prediction with a crystal ball or balls. Before the end of the world, please give your wealth to the homeless, poor and sick people.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Member of the Lighthouse Gospel Tract Foundation in Tucson, Arizona who belived their pastor's prediction that the Rapture was going to happen in 1981 did just that.
      Dozens of people were left desti/tute when, unsurprisingly, nothing happened.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  7. Who Cares


    December 18, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  8. rl

    I guess his doomsday came.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  9. Charles

    He died after suffering a fall? The fall killed him? Not an aneurism or a heart attack caused by the strain on his body? How high in the air was he when he fell?

    December 18, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • lol??

      Doesn't matter. Ask any tower climber.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Will Bresch

      He literally "DROPPED DEAD" ....

      December 18, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • scotty501

      i bet you are a lot of fun at parties???

      December 18, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  10. devin


    " Deny you the right" That is too funny. Do you think we are in a court of law here? This is a CNN comments section, any thing goes in terms of freedom of expression.

    But yes, even though you kick and scream, it still includes you.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • devin

      Oops, wrong place.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:01 am |
      • Charm Quark

        No it does not include me one iota. I am also not included in Hindu beliefs, I like a good steak, and my wife does not wear a burka, you get the idea. You may believe it does and want to push those idiotic beliefs on others, I reject your nonsense.

        December 18, 2013 at 9:12 am |
        • devin

          And that is your right.

          December 18, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Thank you for that, I just wish you, Christians, would stop referring to those that do not believe as you do as wretched fallen sinners, keeping it in house makes more sense to me, grovelling before some mythical saviour just does not interest me.

          December 18, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • devin


          As it is your right to " reject your nonsense" it is my right to include you in what I perceive to be the condition of all human beings. It's a two way street.

          December 18, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • Charm Quark

          I do mind that you include me as a wretched fallen sinner, you presume too much. I also do mind being called an infidel because I do not believe in Islam. Possibly you would not mind being excluded from some public services because you were of a very low caste in a Hindu culture, I would mind. Christians have proselytized since the beginning often with the use of force but when the tables are turned and non-believers question the validity of the beliefs and the scam artists cheating the sheep they get all upset, call us haters. You do realize that if you include all religions and all clergy it would be one of the largest service industries, right up there with health care. It, religion, has always been more about wealth and power for the purveyors, than about piety and salvation. Do you make your daily bread off of the backs of the sheep, you sound like a clergyman?

          December 18, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Forgot to ask if you believe in the return of jesus despite his tardiness? Are we going to have the rapture, judgement day, then the end of the world that crazy old Camping believed in? Just trying to find out how deeply into the delusion you are and what may bring you back to reason and logic.

          December 18, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • devin

          Bring me back to reason and logic? Now that's funny. To your question: Yes, I believe Jesus will one day return. As far as tardiness, that is irrelevant knowing that it is only fallible human beings who have been the prognosticators. Jesus was quite clear when he said , "No man knows the hour of my return" Pretty straight forward. Concerning the logistics (pre/post tribulation, pre/post/a millennial ), I really don't care. I know many Christians get caught up in eschatology, but I've studied it enough to know there is a significant degree of speculation on the particulars. I have my thoughts, but I'm not willing to die for them. I find I have enough to be concerned about with trying to love God with my whole heart, soul and mind, and loving my neighbor as myself. This will keep me busy until He returns.

          December 18, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Just to end the post, you already know you are a wretched fallen sinner in the eyes of your god, that you are an infidel in the eyes of Islam and are of such a low caste in the eyes of Hindu's that you are sub human; religions are so uplifting. BTW nice dodge just answering a small part of my posts, the Christian thing to do.

          December 18, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • devin


          December 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  11. Mary

    Why do people presume that time is straight line?

    December 18, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • LiberaLIowan

      Spacetime is not anywhere close to a straight line.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  12. gd

    Why is this news?

    December 18, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • lol??

      Didja ever hear how big a fight Annie Oakley was in to save her reputation??

      December 18, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  13. Teddy

    Colin and Doc – you guys are badazz. Do you both teach? Cool stuff.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • lol??

      Stuff happens.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Thanks for the compliment!
      I'm just a guy who likes studying mythology and who doesn't have enough to do at work.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • lol??

        Where's the doctrine stuff?? Show us the stuff.

        December 18, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  14. Akira

    Good riddance, that's one less disgusting religious grifter in this world. I feel sorry for all the people he swindled out of their life savings.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  15. Doris

    He was correct in the prediction that the end of this world as we know it is near. It is so close that many will be caught unprepared..
    BUT no one knows when. The Minister was wrong in predicting a date. GOD, in his wisdom is not revealing the day for his own reasons.
    And just so you all know, your mockings and scoffings are also predicted.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Honey Hush

      Just to let you know, I really don't give a sh!t, I will be on the planet Kolob living the high life.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:57 am |
      • LiberaLIowan

        Say hi to mitt for me.

        December 18, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Akira

      This death cult mentality has no place in modern society, or in any society for that matter. Giving no care to the future of humanity and hoping for the destruction of the world is completely divorced from rational thinking.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • magicpanties

      Doris sounds like yet another "special" person that believes that they will experience the rapture in their lifetime because... well, they are so special.

      Get over yourself, Doris. There is nothing special about you, or your silly religion.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:24 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "Special" in the extra chromosome sense of the word.

        December 18, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Jim

      Well you are just all kinda of crazy...

      December 18, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • doobzz

      Well of course the scoffing and mocking was predicted. How else could you peddle the bible and this end of times crap to anyone?

      "The world is ending soon, so give me all your money! By the way, the bible says people will mock you and scoff at you for giving all your money to a con man, but pay no attention. And make that check out to "Cash" please."

      December 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  16. Dave Gallaher

    for 80 million i could end the world my damn self!
    surley its a sad situation that so many live lives in supperstion and fear

    December 18, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • lol??

      It's the day of jackals, superstars, supercars, super stations and super mob leadership.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  17. Michael

    Well, he was almost accurate in predicting the end of HIS world...

    December 18, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Jason

      Low hanging fruit.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  18. captain obvious

    See? He was right. The end WAS near.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  19. Luke

    Anyone else curious about the fact that he died from a fatal fall, but passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family? Seems like we have 2 versions of what happened.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • lol??

      I get it. You think he was pushed off a cliff by his wifey and didn't die immediately.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:52 am |
      • Science Works

        Have you fallen out of your rocking chair lol?? and can't get up ?

        December 18, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • doobzz

      It could be sort of a shortcut in the story.

      My 94 yo friend had a minor illness which kept him flat on his back in bed, it was difficult for him to swallow, he probably aspirated a bit of food or liquid, developed pneumonia and died. The original illness didn't actually cause his death, but it was the catalyst.

      The very old have a tough time recovering from what would be a minor thing to someone younger. In my friend's case, it took several months, but he was quite the fighter.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Amy

      "died after suffering a fall" doesn't mean "the fall killed him instantly." Looking for conspiracy here is a huge stretch. The guy was in his 90s and had already suffered a stroke.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  20. lol??

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers sayz,
    "Legend" characteristics can apply to real people.

    Personally I think a great example is King Arthur. The general consensus is he probably existed as a wealthy landowner and legend stories were added and embellished.

    Could have a guy that the Jesus character is based on existed? Yes. Does that make the walking on water story, ect. true? There is no reason to think so.

    I think the most telling aspect as to the question of Jesus' divinity is he imparted no knowledge , philosophically or empiracally, that we did not already have. He understood the world and expressed that understanding exactly as one would expect for his time.

    For those who were having a hard time believing, Jesus told em to take a gander at the prophets, the ones their ancestors killed.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:45 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.