Harold Camping's biggest achievement wasn't calculating the exact time the world would come to an end last May. It was becoming a household name for millions of Americans who found his specific doomsday prediction the perfect water cooler conversation.
Camping said he based his 6 p.m. May 21 prophecy on biblical calculations and a deeper understanding of scripture. He also said the time would be localized, cascading across the time zones. The only problem was that at 6:01, life went on as normal. Camping was left dumbfounded, leaving the public eye for a few weeks before returning with a second doomsday in October. When the Rapture again failed to materialize, he issued a full mea culpa and stepped down from his leadership role at the California-based Family Radio.