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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. Quotes

    Verse of the Day

    Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: Luke 1:68-70 KJV

    December 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • igaftr

      More religious hogwash.

      Here's one from the koran
      “The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews. The Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: ‘Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him;’ but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

      Religion of peace?

      December 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Niknak

      How cute, bible drivel.
      You know there is still time for you to quit your job, sell all your stuff and join one of his caravans.
      Maybe he was just a few years off.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  2. Doris

    I can just see that old codger spending his last precious bit of time scouring through his spam folder reading every last piece of junk mail thinking there were clues in there to help hone his next prediction.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Doris, too bad he didn't read the line in the Bible that says that no man knows the day or time of my comming ,only the father knows.

      December 19, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  3. DANIELLE

    ANOTHER BRAIN DAMAGE FREAK. I WONDER WHAT HAPPEN TO HIS MEMBERS. R THEY GOING TO TRY A DIFFERENT GOD SUCH AS SANTA CLAUS

    December 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  4. David

    Well at least we won't need to hear anymore of his "end of the world" b.s.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Niknak

      Not from him.
      But rest a ssured another end timer will rear his ugly head and get a bunch of myth believers to follow him.

      Hey, have there been any woman end timers that got a following?
      Maybe it's time for one.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Tig

        There is a serious lack of female end of the worlders and also female atheists. I think it is time both groups look into that matter.

        December 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Fan2C

        Yep, there have been (and are).

        Ellen White (Adventist) and Aimee Semple McPherson (Foursquare) and that Irish woman, Bridget Mary ? come to mind, for starters.

        December 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • Niknak

          First I have heard those names.
          Did they get much traction?
          More importantly, did they get large numbers off believers to off themselves?

          THAT is the measuring stick we should go by in evaluating an end timer; body count!

          December 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Fan2C

          niknak,

          Here's something about Aimee Semple McPherson's deal:

          "The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, commonly referred to as the Foursquare Church, is an evangelical Pentecostal Christian denomination. As of 2000, it had a worldwide membership of over 8,000,000, with almost 60,000 churches in 144 countries. In 2006, membership in the United States was 353,995 in 1,875 churches.[1] While congregations are concentrated along the West Coast, the denomination is well distributed across the United States,[2] The states with the highest membership rates are Oregon, Hawaii, Montana, Washington, and California.[2] The church maintains its headquarters in Los Angeles, California." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Church_of_the_Foursquare_Gospel

          December 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • Niknak

          8 Mil?!?
          Man, I need to start me a church and preach some end times bull.
          Bet she is living large.
          Name it and claim it!!

          December 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Fan2C

          niknak,

          You can look up Ellen G. White, who with her husband, founded the Seventh Day Adventists - who have quite a large number of followers too.

          As for that Irish woman End Times prophetess, I'm not sure about her name - she stays sort of incognito - someone has posts excerpts from her books from time to time on here.

          December 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Niknak

          Thanks Fan.
          But the real question is how many myth believers have these woman got to kill themselves, or at least give away all their goodies?

          Just preaching the end times is not enough.
          I am looking for results!

          December 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • enkisea

        Ragnarok is coming in 2014. Odin dies in ragnarok. Santa is really just Odin with a new coat of paint. So...no more Santa after Ragnarok.

        December 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Niknak

          I can't wait to meet him.

          December 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  5. children of Israel

    Who are the saints? The Israelites – Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. – 1st Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Apostle Paul – Romans 11:1 I SAY then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. – Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Doris

      I'm sure a lot of people today would love to know what John of Patmos was high on when he wrote that mess called Revelation.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Niknak

      Yet more ramblings from a Stone Age fairy tale.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Jesus

      Come on, everyone knows old St John was high when he wrote that stuff. Out of his nostrils cometh smoke all right.

      December 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  6. Doris

    Isaiah said this, Isaiah said that...

    Why in the world do some people think the new screenplay for Gullible's Travels, Part 2 would have worked at all to get converts if it didn't fit nicely with Gullible's Travels, Part 1?

    December 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Austin

      Doris, why do people have supernatural spiritual gifts?

      December 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Niknak

        Again Autism, please provide facts to support those people's claims of supernatural gifts, whatever those are.

        December 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • sam stone

        Austin: Are you going to talk about the squashed cats in your dreams again?

        December 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  7. joehova

    At least this guy went out on a limb and made an actual prediction of "when" the end would come. All these other people just keep say, "Oh, he's coming, don't know when, but he's coming". I could make any prediction and not give a date and I can never be wrong. I have more respect for this guy who actually had the balls to give a date.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Niknak

      So why didn't you have the balls to sell all your stuff and join one of his bus caravans?

      December 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Adam

      Oh no, everyone is pretty darn sure he's coming during their time on earth, since all the signs are there, right? And of course he'll be coming right in their own location so they all think they get to see it happen (don't ask how that can possibly happen).

      December 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    Blessed be the Lord God of Israel. The world will not end. Heaven will be coming down to earth. The wicked will be destroyed off this planet. Caucasians are ruling the earth, and they have the world worshipping other gods – Job 9:24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked:

    December 18, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Soulone GodKiller

      I was just wondering if that god you pray to is the one that mass murdered the planet with a flood , slaughtered cities and turned a mother into salt, I would say that is a sick pervert serial killer you pray to, if you ever see it tell it it can lick my brown spot OK

      December 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • Niknak

        Yeah, that would be the one.
        And if Jeebus did come back, the "loving" Xtians like this fool would kill him all over again.
        Can't have some hippy telling them to give a dime to the poor and love their fellow non Lilly white Xtian man.

        December 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • WASP

      "Caucasians are ruling the earth, and they have the world worshipping other gods"

      so just a guess but you're not caucasian?
      so what exactly did we do to you?
      which other gods are you talking about?

      December 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  9. Jesus

    I never heard a word from this guy. I bet he was praying to Mammon or Baal.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • G to the T

      "El"? Is that you?

      December 18, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  10. TG

    Predicting dates for the return of Jesus Christ and the "end of the world" is not new. William Miller forecast that this would happen on October 22, 1844, with his followers waiting in their meeting places until darkness fell. Nothing happened, so the next day was one of disillusionment, and was later called the "Great Disappointment".

    Gregory I, pope from 590 to 604 C.E., in a letter to a European monarch, said: “We also wish Your Majesty to know, as we have learned from the words of Almighty God in Holy Scriptures, that the end of the present world is already near and that the unending Kingdom of the Saints is approaching.”

    Jesus gave a warning, telling his apostles that "concerning that day and hour (as to his return to wipe out "the system of things", Matt 24:3) nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father."(Matt 24:36)

    But Jesus now says: "For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they too no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be."(Matt 24:37-39)

    Thus, the vast majority will be preoccupied with the common mundane things of everyday life, marriage, raising a family, working for a living, paying the bills, being anxious, never taking "note" that the "day" of the "great tribulation" is fast approaching.(Matt 24:21) Instead, there will be those who mock, just as in "the days of Noah", who scornfully condemned Noah for building an ark when it was no where near water and had never "rained".(Gen 2:6)

    Jesus gave features identifying the "sign" (Matt 24:3) to determine the time period of his invisible "presence", at Matthew 24:4-14. Revelation 6 gave further details of features that would help a person recognize when Jesus would be "present" in kingdom power (Rev 6:1-8), which we have been in since 1914.

    The apostle Paul said that "Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many; and the second time that he appears it will be apart from sin, and he will be seen by those earnestly looking for him for their salvation."(Heb 9:28) Jesus, having "manifested himself once for all time" (Heb 9:26), will not "return" visibly, but invisibly, accompanied by the symbolic events of "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the power of the heavens will be shaken."(Matt 24:29) This will signal the "end of the world".(Matt 24:3, KJV)

    December 18, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Jesus

      But you have to admit that if you followed Miller's instructions, you really did decode a secret message about the end of the world. Of course, it wasn't actually put there on purpose and is generated by his instructions, but he really thought he had something there. Poor guy.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Jake

      Well the sun darkening is fairly specific, unless you make it mean something else. So, when the sun illumination diminishes enough to be obvious, then will be the time for the end of the world. We do know from science that the sun will destroy the world, so I guess that makes christianity just another sun worshiping religion.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Jesus

    I ain't comin' back here no more. You people are dangerously crazy. Last time, you pounded nails in my hands.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      What do you think about all these people who claim to be your worshipers wearing medieval torture devices around their necks?

      December 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • Jesus

        Terrifying. That isn't really a good memory for Me.

        December 18, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • G to the T

      Wrists, not hands. Hands wouldn't be able to bare the weight without tearing.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • Live4Him

        @G to the T : Wrists, not hands. Hands wouldn't be able to bare the weight without tearing.

        Too many assumptions invalidates your posit.

        December 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Joey

          Well by the same standard you have just invalidated pretty much every post you have ever made.

          December 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Niknak

          Hey, lie4him is back!!!

          You gotz any good babble quotes for us proving the existence of your imaginary friend?
          Or are we still on the Dino DNA thing?

          December 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Harry Pancake

          Your religion is one big assumption.

          December 19, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  12. Verum Educat

    Dear Sheep,

    Not even Jesus could get it right... Matthew 16:28 “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

    Focus on living life today and strive to leave the world a better place for your children – because it will still be here when you are gone.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Read

      First it says they will see the Son of man coming in his kingdom before they died. They did. The next chapter continues:

      Matt 17:1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves.”

      “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” If they were not there for his baptism when God spoke from heaven and the Spirit came upon him like a dove, they were here experiencing something more spectacular. Just as a cloud covered the mountain and the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days (Exod. 24:15-18) Moses once again is on a Mountain engulfed in the cloud and hearing God’s voice from heaven. This too is called a holy mountain by Peter.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Jon

        Verum Educat just needed to read one more chapter to understand what that meant. He was so close!

        December 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • G to the T

        "Son of man coming in his kingdom" – I think you need to read up on who the "Son of Man" was actually supposed to be in jewish theology of that time. If the Son of Man had come IN HIS KINGDOM, the world would already be under his rule. Didn't happen, so yeah... there you go.

        December 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Tig

          The Son of Man appeared to the Jewish people and some of the religious leaders of that time tried to murder him.

          December 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • fintastic

        Big fat load of poo poo

        December 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  13. Brad

    Free publicity for Family Radio = WIN.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  14. Getmenone

    The world has already ended. You people just don't know it yet cause your still living in dreamland. The dead walk the earth in droves and that should be obvious just looking at the posts on this board. I think his main detractor is the fact that he thought the bible was divine divination instead of embellished malarkey. God rejects all your religious designations and decides his own way. The hero that you deserve, not the one that you want, need, or imagine. So go Jesus and good luck with that thing you did. I'm sure your folly will make an interesting back story at conclusion.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      Or the world didn't end, Harold Camping was either a con man or a kook, and there is still no evidence that any god exists. You know, business as usual.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • G to the T

        Indeed. S.S.D.D. if you ask me... 🙂

        December 18, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Harry Pancake

      Speaking for an imaginary god I see?

      December 19, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  15. AE

    " He comes wearing a mask–sheep's clothing. He may even be wearing a suit and tie, long robes, a priestly neck collar, and take in millions of dollars annually. "

    December 18, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      That covers a lot of ground - from any televangelist to the pope to anyone who takes money in the name of their god.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • AE

        Yea, I'm wary of people who are asking for lots of money. Especially televangelists and religious leaders living in the lap of luxury.

        December 18, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Jesus

      Are we talking about Dick Cheney here?

      December 18, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  16. Hugh Jass

    Just another "affluenza" sufferer, too rich to care if he wrecked people's lives. I certainly won't miss him.

    December 18, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  17. Jennifer Pruitt

    I remember this guy. I believe Jesus is coming back, but when a human being claims to know the day and hour, I run. No man knows the day or hour, only God. He gives us signs, but specifics are His to know alone. As Christians, we are to spread the Gospel to all the world until He does come. I think Mr. Camping did this for attention. I pray he repented before he died.

    December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

      Jesus is coming back, huh? WHICH "Jesus" would that be? There are many references to distinctly different "jesus" characters and no real evidence that a single one of them was anything more than a common mortal man...
      It is a shame that Harold's experience has not taught you anything.
      So, Harold Camping was delusional, but YOU are NOT, huh? right...

      December 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • Breath.

        Relax.

        December 18, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • Soulone GodKiller

        I agree with you Religion is an infection and that guy was puss

        December 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • Jesus

        Me! Me, pick me.

        December 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  18. John

    I wonder if he thought the world ended when his spirit left his body??? I'd be like OH SNAP!!

    December 18, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  19. my reply

    Wow, glad people are looking for Jesus' second coming. No one knows the exact day or hour except the Father but we see the signs of His coming are occurring so we know He's coming soon. Soon there will be an end to evil and suffering! God loves us and wants everyone to accept his offer of grace.

    December 18, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • snowboarder

      people have been making that claim for millenia

      December 18, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • Deus Ibi Est

        The knowledge of the End Times has been around for millennia BUT Jesus was sent to save the world a mere 2000 years ago. We've had plenty of time to accept His teachings and His LOVE so it stands to sense that there was a time limit for mankind to do this get themselves organized.

        And what happened? Mankind for the most part has REJECTED Jesus and has broken every Commandment..........and it's getting worse.
        There have been warnings and messages from Jesus [through [ St Faustina – the Divine Mercy]; Our Lady of Fatima; Our Lady of Lourdes and several other good people. ALL those messages say clearly that we ARE in the End Times.

        Sodom and Gomorrah were warned and disregarded the warnings – they were DESTROYED -–
        Nineveh were warned and they listened / changed their ways / and were saved --
        The warnings have been given to us – ignore them at your peril.

        God wants everyone to be with Him in Heaven ; reject Him if you wish – it's your choice not His.
        You cannot worship God and Mammon!

        December 18, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • midwest rail

          "...say clearly that we ARE in the End Times. "
          Men have been making that exact claim since roughly 40 A.D. They have all been wrong. So are you.

          December 18, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • snowboarder

          @deus, that is all a load of hogwash.

          December 18, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Deus Ibi Est

          Look up Our Lady of Fatima.
          Look up Our Lady of Lourdes [ specially Jack Traynor and Gabriel Gargam]
          Look up St Faustina [The Divine Mercy]

          I have few problems but one of them is those lacking reason, logic and intelligence to find out FACTS before dismissing the opinions and words of others!
          There's a lot of people like that on here.........you know – the ones who don't understand so they prattle on about "sky fairies!"

          December 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "... one of them is those lacking reason, logic and intelligence "
          Arrogant presumption. But do carry on.

          December 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Harry Pancake

          Yea, I "looked it up".... claiming "facts" is a lie. I claim "mythology"

          December 19, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Charm Quark

      How do you know you are not going to rot in your mythical hell for eternity?

      December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Deus Ibi Est

        You are not PUT into hell for eternity – you CHOOSE for yourself; and the choice is very clear. Jesus said "No-one can come to the Father except through Me"
        So you either accept the teachings of Jesus and live by them as well as possible or you DENY God and face the consequences.

        December 18, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag.
          It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counter-revolutionary actions.
          This was not Stalin's plan at all.
          He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise and it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him.
          But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes.
          He respects their free will.
          If you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

          Sound familiar at all?

          December 18, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Charm Quark

          So 5 billion people or more will be in hell with me come the rapture, good lots of company much better than the pious prigs that make it into heaven. LOL

          December 18, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Madtown

          So you either accept the teachings of Jesus and live by them as well as possible or you DENY God
          ---–
          What if I've never heard of Jesus, how can I accept his teachings? Surely there must be more options than this, and yes I did call you Shirley.

          December 18, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • sam stone

          i do not seek heaven, i do not fear hell

          if god is omniscient, and knows what we are going to do before we do it, there is no free will

          that being said, deus, fvck you and your empty proxy threats

          December 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Deus Ibi Est

      Excellent comment. Peace be with you, friend.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      "we know He's coming soon" The Sin of Pride. You are not going to be 'blessed' and enter Heaven in your own body. You are going to live your whole life without ever seeing one sign of proof, just like everyone else. If that's not good enough for you, do like Camping and just make stuff up in God's name.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • sam stone

      i don't need that punk's "grace"

      December 18, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  20. Danomite

    Now he'll see if he was wrong for the 3rd time.

    December 18, 2013 at 10:43 am |
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About this blog

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.