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. Ruff Locks

    We shall all see. One way or another, we shall all see who is right and who is burning.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Or not.

      December 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Rob

      We will see, "let the first man without sin cast the first stone" comes to mind.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      unless we just cease to exist, in which case nothing is revealed

      December 19, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • James K

      Or, we can tell right now who is being rational and who is being ridiculously, childishly superst_itious.

      December 19, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  2. Goooaaaallllliiiiieeeeee

    People gave up their life savings and homes. Fools they are all fools.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  3. Madskiguy

    Aliens do exist – and apparently live amongst us. Your life savings? Really?

    December 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  4. Santa Claws

    If he had a stroke within a month of his prediction, I'd say his prophesy was more or less correct, in a more personal way than anticipated.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  5. sinclair001

    Kind of reminds me of the part in Forrest Gump where all of the people start running across America behind him,following wherever he goes,thinking he has the answers to life,until he says."I'm tired, I think I'll go home now." And they are all left standing there looking at him like,now what do we do.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Goooaaaallllliiiiieeeeee

      Yeah everyone just started runnang and runnang and runnang and runnang.

      December 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  6. your to phunny

    Hahaha ahahaha ahahahaha

    December 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  7. bluemarine

    The magnitude of gullible people ,such as the followers of this man ,is astonishing. I once heard of a guy that predicted the end of the world in 1966 ,even though that obviously never happened and he is long dead his followers still cling to his so called blarney like glue.

    December 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • James K

      Come on, the whole religion is built upon a crowd of people selling off everything they owned in anticipation of a guy making good on his coming back from the dead. Once you accept that, you'll accept any old crazy claim.

      December 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  8. Jesse

    Does anyone else find it funny that he couldn't predict this? How can he know the end of the world but not his own life.

    December 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • James K

      Psychic Sylvia Browne apparently couldn't predict her own death either, amongst many other things, but she still made a fortune off of her "talent".

      December 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  9. ME II

    At least he admitted that he was wrong, after only three mistakes, that's more than can be said of others.

    December 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  10. Michael B

    Somebody just had their doomsday!

    But honestly, he's in for quite the surprise.

    December 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • James K

      What makes you think that he isn't just dead?

      December 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  11. big gene

    I predict that everyone reading this post will die someday, hopefully a long time from now, SEASONS GREETINGS

    December 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • dietrich

      LOL And I predict that you are absolutely right. Season's Greetings to you and yours

      December 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Bill wry the commentator guy

      OMG!! how did you know? Witch!

      December 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • igaftr

      not me....I'm going to live forever. So far, so good.

      December 19, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  12. Name

    These dude was a nut job burn in hell homie

    December 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Yochanan

      It bothers me a little that you call people nut jobs, mental illness is just that, an illness – a physical or chemical issue – but to wish anyone to burn in hell, baffles me. If you truly believe in hell, what makes you think that your hateful judgment won't put you there?

      December 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • poy

        his mental illness is the bible

        December 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Lou

          It has been discussed a lot that religion is a mental illness. Something has to explain their behavours.

          December 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • Sue

          Maybe not a mental illness, but more something like an optical illusion, where most people "see" something that simply isn't actually there.

          December 19, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  13. Pigs can fly

    I wonder if this crazy guy made more money than Richard Dawkins who believes that a frog can turn into a prince... He also believes that aliens planted the seeds of life here on earth. Why do people throw money at these lunatics? The religious nuts putting their hard earned cash in the collection plate to have their ears tickled and the atheists nuts buying up evolution mythology books from Dawkins and others to have their ears tickled

    December 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Try not lying about what the facts of evolution, and then maybe get some formal education on the subject. Better yet, go get a degree in genetic research. lol

      December 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • jed clampett

      It is like throwing money at Sarah Palin or the Tea Party. It's all politics is about.

      December 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Where can I get a copy of your scholarly article that successfully corrects Dawkins?

      December 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • James K

      When asked how intelligent design could have worked, Dawkins mused that aliens could bring specially designed life to barren worlds, but that these aliens would have had to have evolved some way naturally. He never said that he actually believed that this happened anywhere, so why are you lying?

      December 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        James, what would be their purpose to bring life to this planet? Why is that more plausible than God creating life and programing it to evolve into intelligent beings capable of sustaning a soul for the purpose of personal growth and to either choose GodI.E. love instead of the alternative,hate, destruction and death. It seems that some people are ready to believe unplausible things in order to deny God.

        December 19, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Why is "Some god did it it" a better answer than "It was aliens" or "We don't know"?

          December 19, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Pigs can lie

      Yes, they can!

      December 19, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  14. Joe

    Apparently his dooms day finally came. Now Fortunate the rest of us are still here, Some people might thank god , I'm pretty sure he wasn't involved.

    December 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  15. dotheflippin'math

    I am obviously in the wrong profession. $80MIL in a few years? Damn, there's money in them there fundamentalists! I wonder if it's too late to start my own doomsday cult. I could use some extra cash 😀

    December 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • James K

      And you'll never be brought to justice. Ponzi schemers sometimes go to jail, but religious nuts only have to say they made a mistake, and ask for forgiveness. How sick is that?

      December 18, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Thats where scientology came from – and likely several others.

      December 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  16. Hugh Jass

    Just a piece of advice: if you ever think you have discovered a revelation in the Bible that no one else has ever seen, slap yourself. Then show it to a lot of other people so they can stop you before you go Jeremiah.

    December 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  17. truth

    False phophet...

    December 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Unless you have actual (factual, objective, verifiable, independent) evidence for your god, it is highly probable that all alleged prophets are false.

      December 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG


        December 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  18. Hugh Jass

    He won't be missed, and there will be another one just like him soon to scoop up the sucker money.

    December 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      that's what suckers are for

      December 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  19. Name*partypeanut

    Guess he knows the real deal now! Too bad he didn't refer to the Bible warning that only God knows when....

    December 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Free Nuts

      The Bible's probably why he was nuts to begin with...

      December 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  20. Cheese Wedge

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Say What


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    December 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Dave

      On behalf of the rest of us, thank you so, so much sir/ma'am. It is greatly a-p-p-r-e-c-i-a-t-e-d.

      December 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Todd


      Testicles says it all

      December 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
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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.