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. David O

    One thing is certain. All of those predicting a coming apocalypse or "rapture," from the beginning of recored history until the present, have been wrong, including Jesus himself.

    December 18, 2013 at 3:46 am |
  2. Burt

    The great scientist Sir Issac Newton was fed up with preachers shouting 'the end is near' in his day, so Newton sat down and worked the problem. For 30 years Newton studied the Bible and tried to determine when Jesus would return. After his death, Newton's personal notes were found. This inventor of calculus, calculated that the anti-Christ would appear no sooner than (but perhaps later than) the year 2060. The appearance of the anti-Christ marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The Bible says Jesus will return within one decade of the anti-Christ's appearance. Watch 'Newton's Dark Secrets'.

    December 18, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Yes, it's true that, in many ways, Newton was as crazy as a loon.

      December 18, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • Gaunt

      Complete and utter made-up crap.

      In fact the Bible is quite explicit about when jesus says he will return, the exact time is giver repeatedly. Chirst says several times that his second coming will be within a single lifetime of his death.

      The problem is, zealots alsways ignore this, because it means Chirst was wrong or lying, and if thats the case, maybe, just maybe, the whole thing is made-up?

      December 18, 2013 at 3:15 am |
      • Fritz Hohenheim

        It's been 2000 years. Face it, he ain't coming back.

        December 18, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • randyb1280

      Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims both spend too much time worried about the next life which results in not trying to make this one better. They look forward to the world's end so that they can get that gold mansion in heaven and their crown of jewels...or their harem of virgins. This leads to Inquisitions, witch burnings, Catholics and Protestants killing each other in Northern Ireland and Muslim suicide bombers. Either way, it's misguided and sad that so many gifts and human effort are wasted in efforts like calculating when Jesus returns rather than using that energy in making a world better place.

      December 18, 2013 at 3:52 am |
      • sam stone

        they speak on and on about heaven, but very few actually take themselves out to get there

        December 18, 2013 at 5:47 am |
  3. MadamDeb

    Looks like he was right after all. It finally did end.

    December 18, 2013 at 2:23 am |
  4. raforrester

    All these predictions of Jesus coming again are all wrong. Jesus came already. Remember when millions of people called Millerites were all out standing on mountains waiting for Jesus to appear in the sky in 1843? Well, that's when He came. Just not in the sky. He came exactly as He predicted, like a thief in the night, with a new name, and people recognized him like the sheep recognize their shepherd, by His voice.

    December 18, 2013 at 2:09 am |
    • mistamista

      Hitting the "sauce" a little early there aren't you Roy?

      December 18, 2013 at 2:16 am |
    • Moron-spotting 101

      Yes, I'm sure everybody remembers 1843 just like it was yesterday.

      December 18, 2013 at 2:22 am |
      • Angela

        Well I certainly remember it. That was the year I bought my first laptop. Funny, some doubt about Jesus showing up.

        December 18, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • Teddy

      Well at least you admit those people were gullible sheep. Hope they eventually woke up and didn't lose too much money.

      December 18, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • Isaac Yi


      thats funny even wikipedia knew that is wrong lol

      December 18, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • Fritz Hohenheim

      The bible does not actually say that Jesus had a girlfriend, so we can't really say whether he came or not. If so, it would be that unspekable mast-on-bating thingy

      December 18, 2013 at 3:42 am |
      • sam stone

        or a brokeback mountain thingy

        December 18, 2013 at 5:49 am |
  5. myway

    Well, Mr Preacherman, doomsday is coming for all of us, sooner or later. You got that one right. If you believe you'll be going to the Heavens so why would you worry about it? I guess no one's really sure of that, not even you Mr Preacherman.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  6. Grumpymedicmrcemtp

    Harold who?

    December 18, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  7. fandancy

    You have to wonder about the sanity of those who gave up their homes and life savings to a con man with a poor track record.
    It seems like there's no shortage of fools.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • Andre

      Especially since Camping never gave away his own stuff, including the home he was living in when he died "peacefully". Anyone who predicts Doomsday should be expected to do that.

      December 18, 2013 at 4:44 am |
  8. Rick

    Actually, he was right. _His_ world as an influential preacher ended on that date.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  9. Rob

    Respect for a 71-year long marriage.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • devin

      And, while this in no way justifies his foibles, he was by all accounts a very gentle and kind man who lived a very meager life free from the love of money.and materialism.

      December 18, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Which shows how a completely false religious belief, even if well meaning, can do an incredible amount of damage.

        December 18, 2013 at 2:11 am |
        • devin

          I would agree. The purpose of the statement was to differentiate him from the long line of t.v. preachers//evangelists/charlatans who are only concerned about lining their pockets.

          December 18, 2013 at 2:25 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yep, I am teaching my son that a person can be perfectly honest in his bs. They are in some was more dangerious because of their sincere convictions. But while Harold was not pocketing vast sums of money spreading his garbage, he wasn't exactly hurting for money either. He still profited from his lying.

          December 18, 2013 at 2:45 am |
      • KyHa 66-67

        There is a name for people like that. They are called "poor".

        December 18, 2013 at 2:55 am |
      • RA

        Meager and free from the love of money, save for the $80 Million in donations he openly accepted as his followers gave him their life savings and sold all they owned to donate to his meager self.

        December 18, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  10. Humberto

    One thing if foe him to believe his own lie, but I'm amazed at all the fools that actually believed him.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  11. Nick

    Who cares? I sure don't. Peace, bra.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:05 am |
  12. Painfully Obvious

    I hate to say this about any human...but this planet is probably better off now that he's dead. Now, if only whatever unholy force keeping Pat Robertson and Anne Coulter alive would just let those to get hit by a train, our planet would enter a Utopia.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Nick


      December 18, 2013 at 1:06 am |
  13. rc roeder

    I raise my glass to toast to mr. camping. May he roast in the internal fires of his new home for eternity.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  14. buckcameron

    He predicted that the end was coming and he was right – at least for himself.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  15. Richard Hicks

    Twisted religious mythology that these jerks try to pass off as fact.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:36 am |
  16. fedupwithla

    He used those ears to flap his way up to heaven! Well, I guess it was the Rapture for him. The rest of us will just have to wait a little while longer. Don't hold your breath! Jesus will actually return soon, so all you kids better clean your room! That goes for some of you parents, too!

    December 18, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  17. Dan

    There are only two possible outcomes for this dead man. The first, which is most likely, he simply died, no going to Heaven, no afterlife... just dead, rotting flesh, nothing more. The second, which is a fantasy, but I like to think it happened... he approached the Pearly Gates only to be rejected and sent directly to Hell for being a total sham of a profit.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • fedupwithla

      That would be "prophet," not "profit." But, then again, maybe that would be the more correct spelling of the word.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Quasi

      Karma gets you in the end anyway!

      If "Heaven" is such a more wonderful place over "this Earth", why are not the devoutly religious dying to get in sooner?

      December 18, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  18. !?!wut!?!

    How on earth could a mortal, dillusional human being think he can predict the end of mankind and of Earth? It's ludicrous! And it's mind boggling that in this point in time these inane beliefs still exist.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Toad

      Presumably, he didn't believe it. He was a con man. More power to him; the world is full of marks, and they really do want to be had.

      December 18, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Fritz Hohenheim

      It's called religion

      December 18, 2013 at 3:44 am |
  19. dwayne

    I bet this guy was a blast to live with.

    December 18, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  20. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    May he rest in peace.

    I wonder where the $80M went?

    Can we please stop talking about Harold Camping now?

    December 18, 2013 at 12:26 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.