Harold Camping, founder of the Family Radio network and oft predictor of the end of the world, died this past weekend at his home in Alameda, Calif from complications resulting from a fall. Camping, 92, was best known for his widespread advertisement of the end of the world on May 21, 2011, then again on October 21, 2011. Camping finally offered an apology to the public and admitted that he had no evidence that the world would end soon, calling his attempts to predict the future “sinful.” But he did add that his “incorrect and sinful statement allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention.”
Regardless, Camping was certainly relentless in his messaging, says The New York Times. He raised tens of millions of dollars for his campaigns (including billboards, books, pamphlets, television appearances, and newspaper and magazine articles) from his devoted listeners. Some of these sold everything they owned, rushed into marriages, quit their jobs and gave away their possessions. When the world did not end as predicted, many complained to the Federal Communications Commission that Camping had created a panic and had deceived listeners.
Camping was born in 1921 in Boulder, Colo., and earned a degree in civil engineering from UC Berkeley in 1942. His radio network grew to 140 stations around the world. He is survived by his wife of 71 years and his six children.