Image: Harold Camping
Reuters TV  /  Reuters
Harold Camping, 89, the California evangelical broadcaster who predicts that Judgment Day will come on May 21, 2011, is seen in this still image from video during an interview at Family Stations Inc. offices in Oakland, California May 16, 2011. news services
updated 6/13/2011 11:19:45 AM ET 2011-06-13T15:19:45

Harold Camping, the radio preacher who incorrectly predicted that the Rapture would happen last month, has reportedly been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

According to the Oakland Tribune, a neighbor said the 89-year-old president of the Oakland nonprofit Family Radio network was taken by ambulance from his home on Thursday night.

"He had a stroke, it was on his right side," said the neighbor, who declined to give her name.

Charles Menut, the regional manager for Family Stations Inc., Family Radio's parent company, alerted supporters via a message he posted to a Yahoo group, according to the Oakland Tribune.

"Please just pray for him and do not try to contact anyone at his home or Family Radio," Menut wrote. "He and Shirley have enough family members to handle the situation. I'm sure we'll be able to publicly update everyone on Monday."

Camping sparked a frenzy among his followers when he prophesied that the world would come to an end on May 21.

Video: End of world predicted to happen 'at suppertime' (on this page)

The prediction gained traction in part due to Camping's considerable wealth. According to the Oakland Tribune, Family Radio spent more than $100 million over the past seven years publicizing the Rapture.

Image: A volunteer from the U.S. religious group Family Radio hands out pamphlets with warnings of an impending Judgment Day at Times Square in New York
SHANNON STAPLETON  /  Reuters file
A volunteer from the U.S. religious group Family Radio, a Christian radio network, hands out pamphlets with warnings of an impending Judgment Day at Times Square in New York May 13, 2011.

In addition, the fundamentalist preacher's followers donated millions of dollars to to the cause, and in the days before the advertised date, volunteers gathered across the nation to spread the message.

As the calendar closed in on the date, supporters' views divided families and sent the Internet into a tizzy. But in the end, the whole affair fizzled when everyone remained firmly affixed to this Earth.

Video: Breaking non-news: We’re still here (on this page)

Camping told the San Francisco Chronicle he was "flabbergated" that the Rapture failed to materialize. He reportedly described the no-show as a "really tough weekend."

Camping has since offered October 21 as a new date for the Rapture.

© 2013

Video: Doomsday rescheduled for Oct., preacher says

  1. Closed captioning of: Doomsday rescheduled for Oct., preacher says

    >>> back at 7:50 with the fallout from the failed rapture. a california preacherer has spoken for the first time since his predicted judgment day came and went. he said he was not wrong, just off by five months. nbc's george lewis is in los angeles with details. george, here we go again. good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning. pastor harold camping spent millions on bill boards and newspaper ads telling people around the world that the end was coming this past saturday at 6:00 p.m . now he's the butt of jokes and his followers, many of whom cashed in their life savings and took children out of school are demoralized and angry.

    >> i can tell you very candidly that when may 21 came and went it was a very difficult time for me.

    >> reporter: monday night pastor harold camping went on the radio to talk about his failed doomsday forecast. his explanation, saturday marked an invisible judgment. the real end comes in five months.

    >> god brought judgment day and it will continue right up until october 21, 2011 . at that time the whole world will be destroyed. we have not been wrong about that at all.

    >> reporter: in maryland, gary balmer who prepared for the end to come saturday is angry.

    >> he never really did say anything about being wrong or what havoc he caused.

    >> reporter: for late night tv comics it's manna from heaven.

    >> when asked what happened, and this guy doesn't miss a beat. why didn't the world end? he said, it's a miracle!

    >> number three, at 89 i can't remember how to operate the toaster. number two, didn't everybody's world end when oprah was cancelled and number one, harold camping says, i'm [ bleep ] crazy. that's why.

    >> reporter: some say buy this paper if it's the last thing you do. on twitter there were comments like, this is my first rp temperature. i'm trying to figure out what to wear. people posted facebook pictures of empty clothing as though the occupants were swept up to heaven. given recent events -- tornados in joplin, missouri, and elsewhere, flooding along the mississippi, the tsunami in japan, it's easy to see why some might believe the end is near.

    >> there are a few people in camping's followers that gave up their retirement funds. they stood on street corners, alienated family. they have lost a lot.

    >> reporter: now they have been told to just wait five months. judgment day is coming. for many of them it may require a huge leap of faith . matt?

    >> george, thank you very much.


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