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. Insight

    dooms day is inevitable for everyone and he got his.

    December 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Real


      December 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • oscar

      How do you know there is not something after this earth?

      December 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • Ralph_in_FL

        How do you know there is?

        December 17, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
        • Thatguy371

          C'mon, enough with the cop out. Develop a spine and stop preaching against it. Or prove your version of the earth's creation/life is correct.

          December 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • jerems

        I believe in a higher power/law. god being it. those who say he doesn't exist, well that's fine. there's no proof either way, so it's just opinions. I choose to have a little faith. why not!

        December 18, 2013 at 12:20 am |
      • sam stone

        why do you equate belief with knowledge?

        December 18, 2013 at 6:12 am |
  2. sybaris

    Religion and the worship of god(s) is a filthy perverted disease of the mind

    December 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • bruce

      You are very confused and lost, and hurt. Go find a good Christian Church and start reading and opening your heart to the lord while you still have time.

      December 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
      • Hooligan

        LOLOL, every church believes they are a "good christian church" you knucklehead.

        December 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Henry

      It is not filthy, perverted or a disease. It is however, ignorant.

      December 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  3. Mopery

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    December 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  4. polycarp pio

    I predict the rapture will not happen today 12/17/2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PP

    December 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  5. Joe H

    I don't blame him for being a wackadoo, after all, preaching can be very profitable if you scare people enough. I think all the dumdums that followed him are hilarious.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • bruce

      The bible does say no one will know the time. As for the 'dumdums', those are just people that have been saturated with bad news from a 24×7 news cycle. Most people cannot withstand the constant negativity that they take in for decades, to them the world will end.

      December 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  6. motorfirebox

    I don't know why everyone's so upset about this guy dying. It's not the end of the world.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  7. SteveInMN

    Hey! He was finally right!

    December 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  8. NewYoker

    Moral of Story:

    God chooses dates not man.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • John

      No, the moral of the story is that greedy men will lie no matter what to make a buck.

      December 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • John

      Also, your statement is a complete non sequitur:
      it would only be true if
      1) God and the guy chose dates, and God won,
      2) the guy chose the date, but it happened on a different date.
      Since the Rapture hasn't occurred, you cannot make your original claim.

      December 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  9. GRS


    December 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  10. Bob

    Religion breeds ignorance.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • GRS

      Two thumbs-up!

      December 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm |

    • Ignorance is Strength

      December 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Scott

        Only if you are a Republican Candidate!

        December 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • .

          Two thumbs up!

          December 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • bruce

      The only real wisdom involves a knowledge of the Creator. Seek and ye shall find. You don't get it for free.

      December 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • JJ

        That's not knowledge. That's called a delusion.

        December 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
      • sam stone

        the problem is that believers equate a creator with a god

        it's as if they are saying "something created us, therefore (my view of) the bible is correct"

        it is a huge non sequitor

        December 18, 2013 at 6:28 am |
      • G to the T

        "Seek and ye shall find" = definition of confirmation bias.

        December 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  11. Scott

    All these so called prophets have predicted the "end of times." Seventh Day Adventist founder White did it unsuccessfull (now shes past so no more predictions, so much for her prophecies). I remember that there have been a bunch of these loonies growing up. In fact in Pennsylvania and West Virginia I remember seeing signs that said "the end is near", "Prepare to Meet your death", "Get out of the UN NOW!"

    Same nuts that do not believe in medicine, dance with poison snakes, think the earth is 5000 years old, don't believe in science, believe men walked with dinosaurs, and that the President was born in Kenya.

    And you wonder why we have so many people becoming athiests?

    December 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  12. Stampy

    Bet he see THAT coming.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Jeff M

      The end is never more than several decades for all of us. Important to remember that.
      But the Bible warns about those that predict the end.

      December 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • Youtube - Teresa MacBain "Shift Happens"

        John Compere, PhD

        I was a fifth-generation Baptist minister, ordained at age 18, while in college. I served until age 32 when I left the ministry and the church to get a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I had already completed a three-year seminary degree following college, which only increased my doubts about the authenticity of the theology I had learned from childhood. Leaving the ministry was not an easy decision to make since all my friends and family were in the church. But it was a decision I ultimately HAD to make if I didn't want to risk being publicly phony and privately cynical. I became an agnostic, then an atheist, NOT because I hadn't read the Bible, but because I had! An atheist, by the way, is simply someone who does not believe in a supernatural being. I am convinced that the evidence supports that view. All religion suffers from being bound by unchanging myth.

        As a psychologist, I continued to try to help people find meaning in their lives. I taught at the university and medical school, had a private clinical practice, and then became a professional speaker on "Psychology You Can USE!" I seriously doubt that life has any ultimate meaning, but I'm convinced that we can make our own meaning, and I have spent the last 45 years since I left the ministry trying to help people do just that. Success is not the goal - all therapists have dealt with many a successful person who was miserable - life satisfaction is the goal.

        When I made my career change, I was essentially on my own. I wish something like The Clergy Project had been around then. I could surely have used it. The goal of this project is not to try to convince believing clergy to give up their faith. Rather, it is to help those in the clergy who, for their own individual reasons, are no longer able to believe, to try to figure out how to make a huge sea-change in their lives. It may well be the absolutely most challenging career change anyone can make. We simply want to help make it easier.

        December 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Rosy Shuy

          Read Dr. Michael Newton and Dr, Brain Weiss books.

          December 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
        • doobzz

          "AUSTIN, Texas (RNS) A former United Methodist minister-turned-atheist was dismissed from her high-profile position at Harvard University on Thursday after it was revealed she falsified her resume.

          Teresa MacBain, one of the most high-profile nonbelievers in the country after profiles by NPR, The New York Times and Religion News Service, was fired from her newly created position with the Humanist Community at Harvard.

          MacBain, who started her job at the beginning of September, had planned to travel the country starting humanist communities at schools and organizations nationwide.

          In a statement posted on Facebook Thursday (Sept. 26), MacBain acknowledged she had misrepresented her education to Harvard, to the broader atheist community and to reporters.

          “I have committed a grave error in judgment that I deeply regret,” MacBain wrote. “While I did not do anything with malice or with intention to harm others, my actions were still wrong.”

          If you are so interested in educating believers, why did you pick the screen name of a liar and a fraud?

          December 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  13. Strand

    Well the world did end. For him.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  14. Bob Penn

    The BIble says no one knows the time for the end of the earth. We should always be ready for the coming of Jesus by doing what he wants us to do. This could happen at our death or at the end of this world.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  15. richie

    Wonder what his estimated worth was when he died? If it was't for bible nuts and their idiotic zeal make donations to these Elmer Gantrys, this kind of garbage would never happen.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Jeremy


      December 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • Scott

        Obviously he was making a good living, preacher, radio show, bill boards, trucks. Probably had a mega church, everything belongs to his church so no taxes, kids get sent to univeristy, big house, new cars. Radio and TV brings in big donations from all these lonely desperate people. Widows, people with guilt. I bet he was worth millions.

        Thats what is wrong with these huge churches, lots of power, lots of money, lots of curruption. Probably like the Bakers, had an air conditioned dog house.

        December 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  16. Dave

    Another nutcase who will no longer be bothering us.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Rosy Shuy

      How did he bother us?
      Personally I was not bothered by him, or anyone I know.

      December 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  17. Crosswinds

    He should have read his bible.........

    2.Mark 13:32
    “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • DB Cooper

      Bible is only right when it's convenient for an agenda....then it's wrong

      December 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  18. Daniel

    I hope he gets to see everything he believed in. We will find out out day. Rest in peace.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • CoolCMo

      He got what he deserved... a big steaming pile of nothing... he's dead. There's nothing else.

      December 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Grateful Catholic

      I hope so too Daniel.

      December 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  19. Marc Florida

    In a way, his prediction might be viewed as correct, in his own case. My sympathies to his family.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  20. sam

    I've got popcorn for this shitfest, who's got the beer?

    December 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
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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.