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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. Charles Gannon

    Seems to me that all this new high tech world wide communication has done nothing but help drive a wedge between people as opposed to "bring us together"

    December 18, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Yea, what with all of this instantaneous communication and social networking. It's really hard to communicate these days.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • lol??

      The antichrist socies are big on mob censoring. They are always lookin' fer fresh leadership and fresh meat while bein' on a salt free diet.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • G to the T

        And yet... you're still around aren't you LOL??

        December 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  2. SusyQue

    Goodbye friend.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      I'm sure that you're just a troll but I have to ask.

      Did you actually know this fraud?

      December 18, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  3. Dissident-Wolverine

    Religions were set up by man to keep some form of an order in society which governments could not fully control on their own.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • lol??

      The Frankfurt School attacks God by destroying the family.

      Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • lol??

      Daddy Frankfurter had two hot dogs that were born twins. Commie & Socie. Those grils are baaaaaaaaaaad.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  4. children of Israel

    People who condemn Christ name are just like those who were spitting in his face. The pagan Greeks and Romans name him Jesus in the scriptures by the way. Say something about Christ the Hebrew man who came in the flesh – St. Luke 2:11-12 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; – St. Matthew 16:15-16 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. – Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:

    December 18, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • WASP

      please point out your "christ" i would like to have a few words with him about how his "father" opted to almost kill my son. he was born 4 months early and if it wasn't for medical advancements in science, he wouldn't have lived.
      *cracking knuckles* so please point him out!

      December 18, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  5. scott bleyle

    He wasn't 100% wrong,his world ended.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Epidi

      Amen & end of story. 😉

      December 18, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  6. scientificpoetry

    Harold Camping, a fool of monumental proportions.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  7. sybaris

    Religion.......the ultimate ponzi scheme

    December 18, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • GenPatton

      I see you prefer: Ignorance is Bliss.

      December 18, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • a4mrtheist

      Good analogy.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  8. Syl Di Diego

    The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times – No One Knows the Day or Hour Except the Father

    24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

    3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

    4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

    9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

    22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

    26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

    29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

    “‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
    the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

    30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

    32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    The Day and Hour Unknown

    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

    42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

    Holy Bible, Gospel of Matthew 24 (NIV)

    December 18, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • sybaris

      Quoting the bible is like an 8 year old stabbing at you with their pretend Star Wars light saber..........cute and ineffective

      December 18, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • WASP

      “‘the sun will be darkened,
      and the moon will not give its light;
      the stars will fall from the sky,
      and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

      i love how this is soooooooo fracking wrong.
      1) if the "sun darkens" this whole planet will freeze soild.
      2) the moon has no light of it's own to shine.
      3) stars don't fall from the sky, meteors do. also known as ROCKS.
      4) heavenly bodies? ummm that one is just stupid. the heavenly bodies are ALWAYS shaking. the moon itself still shakes from an impact it had hundreds of years ago.

      December 18, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • joe

        How long is your neckbeard?

        December 18, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • ray

      so you can copy the bible do you have your own thoughts

      December 18, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  9. IndyMike

    So now he can answer to God for his false prophesies. He was a con man and a fraud. Since he supposedly had read the Bible, how did he miss the part where Jesus said no man knows the time or the day?

    December 18, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • sybaris

      which god?

      December 18, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • G to the T

      "Hour and day" maybe – that's why many of them stick to predicting the Month/year...

      December 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  10. a

    There is something in the mind of religious people that does not allow them to come to grips with the fact that when they die, the world will keep on keeping on. The Rapture is the best example of the manifestation of this mental disease.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • WASP

      that's the hilarious thing............."the rapture" is a man-made term. it's not even in their book; yet they believe it is. XD

      December 18, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • lol??

      !9th century apostasy. They musta been bored.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  11. Mike

    I guess god got tired of his BS.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:39 am |
  12. Syd

    Well he was bound to be right at some point.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • JON WYATT

      LOL !!!

      December 18, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  13. Michael Hunt, Esq.

    Don't you mean "Radio preacher who FAILED to predict doomsday dies"?
    In any case, good riddance.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • Don't apologize for your stupidity, I'm sure it's hereditary.

      He did predict doomsday . . . his prediction was just wrong.

      December 18, 2013 at 7:37 am |
      • WASP

        yup like every "prediction" that has ever been made about "domsday".

        December 18, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  14. John

    Harold Camping. I can recall the elderly locals in my early childhood town talk about this fellow and they hung on his every word. I was too young at the time to realize the implications that he pandered to listeners and as an adult, I sometimes think back to the absolute ignorance by some people in actually giving credence to someone like Camping.

    Nowhere is a con-man more successful than in religious circles. It's a target-rich environment.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  15. Paul

    His doomsday came alright!

    December 18, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  16. cswarts3

    Whew... thank goodness.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  17. frontgate

    I think that it's funny that people would give up their homes and life savings because of his foolishness.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  18. Mark

    The latest polls show that 17% go to church regularly. Most have been brainwashed at a young age. Some are weak minded and look to god for strength. That sums it up. When the millennial generation grows up and all the ww2, baby boomers and generation x'ers are gone that poll will show 2% or less.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Hope this helps

      87% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      • G to the T

        "Million to one chances crop up nine times out of ten" – Wizards of U.U.

        December 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  19. Walt

    Christians give all sorts of money to these phonies and then they walk around with a chip on their shoulder because they were gullible.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:18 am |
  20. Travis

    It doesn't surprise me that people would make outrageous claims like this anymore. Maybe this guy really thought he knew when the world was going to end, maybe he was just making it all up for the sake of publicity...I don't know, and I don't care. My problem is the fact that so many people fell for it hook, line, and sinker. If you quit your job, sell your house, and completely leave your life behind just because some guy on the radio told you to do it, then you are a fool and you deserve everything misfortune that arises from your decision. I'm done pitying these people who are taken in by con-men and hucksters, whether they be preachers, politicians, entertainers, or any other public figure looking for another 15 minutes of fame. Human beings are the only creatures on the planet with the capability to rationalize complex thoughts and act on logic rather than base instincts. Too many of us choose to ignore that great gift. And if you are one of the many who abandon reason because it's just too hard to think for yourself...well, good riddance to you all.

    December 18, 2013 at 7:17 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.