Radio doomsday prophet Camping suffers stroke

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 2:13 AM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping, who rallied thousands of followers with a prophecy that the world would end last month, has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke, a spokesman said on Monday.

Camping, 89, fell ill after a broadcast of his daily "Open Forum" radio show last Thursday in Oakland, California, and was admitted to a hospital in the San Francisco Bay area, said Tom Evans, a spokesman for his Family Radio network.

"He's doing well and that's all we want to say right now," Evans told Reuters by telephone.

Evans said the Family Network of 66 U.S. stations that carry Camping's show was airing a periodic announcement about his stroke for listeners and would play archived broadcasts of his show for the time being.

Camping drew international attention by predicting the biblical Judgment Day would happen on May 21, launching a doomsday countdown in which some followers spent their savings in anticipation of being swept into heaven that day.

After the prophecy failed to materialize, Camping said he had simply miscalculated by five months and pronounced a new date for the apocalypse -- October 21.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Jerry Norton)