ALAMEDA, Calif. — Harold Camping, the California-based radio broadcaster known for his attempts to pinpoint the exact date of Judgment Day, died on Sunday. He was 92.
According to his ministry, Family Radio, Camping died at his home in Alameda following an accident involving a fall.
“Mr. Camping sustained a fall in his home, and he was not able to recover from his injuries. He passed away peacefully in his home, with his family at his side,” the organization announced on its website. “We know that each of us remain in God’s hand, and God is the One who knows our appointed time to leave our earthly body behind.”
Camping has been known over the last 40 years for his multiple predictions regarding the end of the world. He first predicted in the 1970’s that Judgment Day would occur on May 21, 1988. When the date passed without the return of Christ, Camping later went on to write a book that speculated that the event could occur sometime during the year 1994.
After making an unsuccessful third attempt in 2008, Camping’s Judgment Day campaigns became especially widespread in 2011, when he purchased billboards and distributed materials declaring that the Bible “guaranteed” the date of May 21, 2011. However, many Christians cautioned against Camping, noting that Jesus had outlined in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
When the day again passed, Camping stated that he believed a “spiritual” judgment had occurred and that the rapture would take place on October 21st of that year. However, many then labeled the radio broadcaster a false prophet, and a drop in donations coupled with expenditures from advertising campaigns forced Camping to sell some of his radio stations.
In March 2012, Camping released a letter repenting of his predictions, remarking that it was “sinful” of him to attempt to prognosticate the time of God’s judgment, and asked for forgiveness.
“We realize that many people are hoping they will know the date of Christ’s return. In fact, for a time Family Radio fell into that kind of thinking,” Camping wrote. “But we now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible’s statement that ‘of that day and hour knoweth no man,’ were right in their understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong.”
“We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement,” he continued. “We are so thankful that God is so loving that He will forgive even this sin.”
The radio broadcaster, who owned nearly 60 stations and 39 translators, did not make any further predictions since issuing the letter.
Camping suffered a stroke in 2011 that left him hospitalized and in a nursing home for a time. Two weeks ago, he was injured in a fall from which he never recovered. He died on Sunday at his home in California at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Camping leaves behind a wife of 71 years, Shirley, and seven children. Family Radio will continue in his absence.