Right on the heels of his 100th birthday, the news spun around the Interwebs (possibly originating from this French article) that Georges Remi, aka Herge, creator of Tintin, may have died of complications from an HIV infection and not leukemia, as had been previously thought:
When Hergé died in 1983, leukaemia was cited as the probable cause. Near the end of his life, the creator of Tintin had contracted numerous and recurring infections, which later proved to be fatal. According to Philippe Goddin, Hergé’s official biographer, there is no doubt that the cause of Hergé’s death was HIV. Goddin is quoted in an article in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir yesterday.
Goddin, who previously was the secretary of the Fondation Hergé, and is currently preparing the final, official biography of Georges Rémi, alias Hergé. He states that Hergé’s infections were in no way connected to his medical history. This leads him to conclude that an infection by the HIV-virus resulted in numerous other infections with the flu, pneumonia and bronchitis which later proved to be fatal. Hergé probably contracted the disease during one of the blood transfusions he was subjected to near the end of his life. Since HIV was still not as well-known at the time as it is today, the blood that was used during these procedures probably was not sufficiently screened.
Like Tom, I’m not sure what difference it makes as either disease was pretty fatal back in 1983 and the fact that it may have been an HIV infection doesn’t really alter our perception of the author at all.
This post, however, gives me a chance to link to this Paul Gravett article on Tintin, which I had somehow neglected in my previous two million posts on the subject.