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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. DC

    He was right. The end of the world came for him as it eventually will for everyone. If he kept guessing, he would have evenutally got 12/15/13. This has got to be a lesson to all those doomsday predictors. Stop wasting your time and redirect that energy in a useful way to society.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • KS

      You are absolutely correct. Instead of wasting resources to predict doomsday for the world, he should have concentrated to predict the doomsday for himself. All these religious pundits (I mean all the religions) must stop misleading common people in the name of religion. Enough is enough.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  2. Overt

    Guess he didn't make the 2-3%. Too many looney tunes pretending to be enlightened preachers giving a bad name to the good ones.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  3. lol??

    If God is yer copilot yer in big trouble. If He is only walkin' beside you same deal.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  4. children of Israel

    Do not let these church mega pastors off the hook either, tell them to repent. Speak about the living, are you saying Christ is dead? – Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. – St. John 8:24 for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. – Exodus 3:14 and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. – St. Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am:

    December 18, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Reality # 2

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      And the other "thu-mptations"? Historically nil !!!

      December 18, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Lots of gods died and returned. I guess someone should be preaching about them as if they're still around too....
      Baal, Melqart, Adonis, Eshmun, Tammuz, Ra, Ishtar, Persephone, Izanagi, and Quetzalcoatl are just a few other examples of the resurrected god archetype.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • lol??

        Well, quote us some of their scripture and how they're in the savin' business.

        December 18, 2013 at 8:47 am |
        • G to the T

          Hard to do since the christians made a point to burn anything that wasn't "orthodox". Ever heard of the Library of Alexandria?

          December 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      You can quote the bible until you turn blue and that won't make it any more true.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:59 am |
      • lol??

        I wanna hear from the opposition.

        December 18, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  5. Bertbaby

    It's the end of the world as we know it, (and I feel fine!)

    December 18, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  6. oo oo

    Let's criticize Hitler!

    December 18, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      He made a perfectly dapper mustache style synonymous with evil so now nobody gets to wear a chaplin.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:33 am |
      • Teddy

        I had to read this twice, but worth it. Hilarious!

        December 18, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    One of the earliest examples of Christian doomsday cults are the Montanists.
    Back in the mid 2nd century, Montanus convinced his followers that the 2nd coming would be during their lifetimes.
    Despite Christ's no show and the continuation of civilization, somehow the cult lasted for centuries.
    A couple of hundred years later, a North African Christian tribe known as the Donatists tried the same scam, saying everything would collapse in 380CE.
    Around the same time, St. Martin of Tours declared that the anti-Christ had already been born and was on His way to gaining power over the world.
    A mathematical Christian group called the Lotharingians were quite certain The End would be in 970CE becuase in that year, the Annunciation and Good Friday were on the same day.
    Pope Innocent III prophesied the 2nd Coming for 666 years after the rise of Islam., the year 1284.
    Archdeacon Militz of Kromeriz and an ascetic monk named Jean de Roquetaillade both said it would be around 1365CE.
    Melchior Hoffman, an Anabaptist prophet, predicted that the world would burn in 1533CE.
    The Fifth Monarchy Men, a guano insane English terrorist group, said the apocalyptic battle between Christ and Satan would happen in 1666CE.
    And so and so forth, all through the ages.
    So remember to keep your soul in order because Christ is coming back any day now. Aaaaaany day.......

    December 18, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • RB

      Are you ready Doc?

      December 18, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I'm gonna hedge my bets until I see the amphibious 7 headed, 10 horned, bear pawed monster climb out of the water.

        December 18, 2013 at 8:41 am |
        • Teddy

          I don't know you, but you're hilarious!

          December 18, 2013 at 8:44 am |
        • RB

          The only “sign” that matters is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is well doc.umented. If you wait on this monster, you described, it may be too late. Seek the Lord while he may found. Please make your preparations on this side of eternity.

          December 18, 2013 at 8:46 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @RB
          I appreciate your concern for the state of my immortal soul.
          But as I mentioned earlier, the resurrected god is a mythological archetype.
          While I would agree that there is good evidence for the existence of a radical Rabbi named Jesus, there is no such evidence for the supernatural elements of His story outside of The Bible.
          I'm all in favour of those who seek to follow Christ's message of peace, charity and humility but I don't think that belief in miracles, divinity, resurrections and other fantastical flourishes is a requirement for being a good person.

          "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."
          – Thomas Jefferon

          December 18, 2013 at 9:08 am |
        • G to the T

          "It is well doc.umented." – ummmm no. We have 4 books, 2 of which were based on one of the others, so really we only have 2 books with 3 versions. And... we have no evidence that the names traditionally associated with them are anything other than that, associations.

          December 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  8. nc_mike

    'Tis the end of my life, I tell ya!

    December 18, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  9. DaDorkus

    False prophets.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "False prophets" is redundant.
      The latter term implies the former.
      Shamans should be considered scam artists until proven otherwise.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  10. Douglas

    One less religious nutcase. No great loss.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  11. brent hanson

    sure would have been nice if his prediction would have been accurate. someday someone's will!

    December 18, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That is rather sick

      December 18, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Maybe climate change will take its toll and we'll suffer the indignities of Algoremageddon.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • SkepticalOne

      Your life is so miserable that you are hoping for the end of the world?

      December 18, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  12. Jim

    I believe this is the guy who tricked our chess champion Bobby Fischer into his church, rob him, confused him, and when he went insane dropped him onto the streets of LA. Bobby renounced religion after this and began his insane rants. If this is the guy I hope he rots.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  13. CamDen1

    For there to be NEW evidence, there has to have been evidence in the first place, which clearly there was not. What makes a man stake his entire life and reputation on a single random date? Either he was a lunatic or it was a planned maneuver to simply stir attention, which would be sad considering people ruined their lives in preparation for his "prophecy". And what's the difference between the coolaid drinkers who claimed aliens were behind the comet so they killed themselved and the christians who believed this man's "prophecy" and so sold off their entire lives in "faith" of him? I see none.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  14. Matthew

    I'm glad to see that CNN is now listing the deaths of not only celebrities but preachers as well.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Hex

      Well to be fair this guy has been on the fore front of dooms day prophecy. They've had him on more than a few times and each time he changes his date. That's what he's infamous for. The loud mouth that thinks he knows when the worlds ending...then he dies. Pretty uhh...Hmm

      December 18, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  15. rainierclimber

    80 million bucks huh ? There ya go.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • lol??

      Not to worry. The Beast is talkin' 'bout savin' a couple whoppin' billion bucks. A billion saved is a billion earned.

      December 18, 2013 at 8:34 am |
      • LiberaLIowan

        Is mitwit going to hide some more of his money in offshore bank accounts?

        December 18, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  16. vancouverron

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. Sucker!

    December 18, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  17. orangesunshyne

    I am the god of hell fire, and I bring you fire.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  18. jack

    Little did he know he was predicting his own end of the world, his heart attack after the predicted date. Now the end of the world happened for him.........

    December 18, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  19. Ethan Robertson

    What a silly little man.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  20. Jessica McGwin

    Can you believe the duck tape they are coming out with these days? Sponge Bob, Hello kitty ( would love to see it used on the Kitty Hawk) animal prints, loony tunes. I mean this stuff is great. Y did they take so long to come up with it?

    December 18, 2013 at 8:05 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.