Doomsday prophet Harold Camping dead at 92 in California

LOS ANGELES Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:30pm EST

LOS ANGELES Dec 17 (Reuters) - Evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping, who rallied thousands of followers and stirred a media frenzy with a failed doomsday prophecy two years ago, has died at his home near San Francisco, a spokeswoman for his radio outlet said on Tuesday.

Camping, who was 92, died peacefully at his home in Alameda, California, on Sunday surrounded by family, said Nina Romero, marketing manager for the Oakland-based Family Radio network.

Camping drew international headlines in 2011 with broadcasts predicting the biblical Judgment Day would occur on May 21 of that year, launching an end-of-the-world countdown that prompted some followers to spend their life's savings in anticipation of being swept into heaven that day.

Days after the apocalypse he had forecast failed to materialize, Camping emerged from a brief seclusion to say he had merely miscalculated by five months, and he pronounced a new Judgment date for Oct. 21.

The following month, the former civil engineer was said by his radio network to have suffered a stroke that left him hospitalized, and he largely dropped out of sight as his "Open Forum" radio program was canceled.

However, Camping was believed to have continued to lead a small, low-key Sunday prayer group in Alameda in a building leased by the city parks and recreation department, according to municipal records at the time. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Writing by Steve Gorman; editing by Andrew Hay)

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