Hercule Poirot was the first fictional character ever to receive front page news coverage in the New York Times (in this case, it happened to be his obituary). The article appeared on the front page August 6, 1975. The headline read: "Hercule Poirot Is Dead; Famed Belgian Detective; Hercule Poirot, the Detective, Dies".
The article starts thus: "Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective who became internationally famous, has died in England. His age was unknown." Regarding his health, the reporter Thomas Lask said: "The news of his death, given by Dame Agatha, was not unexpected. Word that he was near death reached here last May."
Poirot's last novel "Curtain" was released to the public 2 months later on October 15. The novel "Curtain" was written, along with Jane Marple's last story "Sleeping Murder", in the mid-1940's to be published at a later date.
Included with the news article was a reprint of a portrait of Poirot. It was painted by the British painter W. Smithson Broadhead (1888-1960) for "The Sketch" magazine in 1923.