Harold Egbert Camping was an evangelist preacher, who broadcast his sermons on the radio station “Family Radio” (for which he served as president). Camping became famous for repeatedly predicting the end of the world. He first predicted that the End Times would come on 6th September 1994. When that failed to materialise he amended the date to 29th September and then 2nd October. Camping used the Bible to date the beginning of the Earth - he came up with the date of 4004 BCE. - only 4,499,993,977 years off. Despite not being right before, Camping announced in 2005 that the Second Coming of Jesus would take place on May 21 2011, followed by the Rapture and the End Times beginning on October 21st 2011. The coincidence of this prediction also happening in the same year as everyone was freaking out about the Mayan calendar running out, which seemed to make it more plausible to some.
By all accounts his predictions didn’t come true in 2011 and Camping retired from many public facing appearances. Family Radio engaged a massive advertising campaign to promote their predictions and there are heartbreaking stories of people getting rid of all their worldly possessions because they believed in his prophesies. It was also reported that a 14 year old Russian girl died from suicide because of them. Camping was interviewed in March 2012 and he admitted that he was wrong but still said that the End Times would come at some point.
Family Radio spent $5 million on the advertising and lost revenue after their predictions didn’t come true and they were forced to lay off staff and cut back on their broadcasting. They continued to rebroadcast Camping’s sermons and teachings until October 2018. Camping himself died in December 2013. Today would have been his 98th birthday.