William Bill B. Kannel MD

December 13, 1923August 20, 2011

Dr. William B. Kannel, Of So. Natick and Royal Palm Beach, FL. Entered into rest on August 20, 2011. Beloved husband of Rita R. (Lefkowitz) Kannel for 68 years. Devoted father of Linda and Ronald Isaacson of Framingham, Steven, and Beth Kannel of Exeter, RI, Patricia Hoffman of Middlesex, VT, and Scot and Mary Kannel of Royal Palm Beach, FL. Loving brother of the late Charles Kannel and Edgar Kannel. Cherished grandfather of twelve grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren.

Dr. Kannel was a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia (1949). He was trained in internal medicine in the US Public Health Service at Staten Island, New York, 1969. He was also a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and the American College of Preventive Medicine (honorary). He has been active in the field of cardiovascular epidemiology for more than 55 years and associated with pioneering the Framingham Heart Study since its inception in 1949. In 1966, Doctor Kannel became Director, replacing Dr. Thomas R. Dawber, the original architect of the world famous study. He was also an attending physician at Boston University Medical Center and a member of the Evans Memorial Foundation.

Dr. Kannel was trained in public health as well as in internal medicine and clinical cardiology, receiving a Master's Degree cum laude from Harvard in 1959. He had been associated with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for over 35 years, and has had a long abiding interest in preventive cardiology for which he received the Dana Award in Preventive Medicine in 1972, the Dutch Einthoven Award in 1973, the Canadian Gairdner Award in 1976, the CIBA Award for Hypertension Research in 1981, the James D. Bruce Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians in 1982, and the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Health in 1986. He was named the University Lecturer of Boston University Medical Center in March, 1987. He received the 1988 Distinguished Service Award at the 37th Annual Convocation of the American College of Cardiology in March, 1988, the Award for Research in Hypertension from the National Conference on Cholesterol and Hypertension in 1991, the Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research in 1993, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Georgia Medical School in 1993, the Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association in 1994, and the Health Trac Foundation Fries Award in 1998.

Dr. Kannel has also received honorary medical degrees from the University of Göteborg, Sweden, the University of Rio De Janeiro and an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the Medical College of Ohio. In 2003 he received the Paul Dudley White Award from the Northeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association and the William Harvey Award from the American Society of Hypertension. In 2004 he received the Society of Geriatric Cardiology Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is a past Chairman of the Council of Epidemiology of the American Heart Association and a past Chief of the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology in the Department of Medicine at Boston University Medical Center. He has held faculty appointments at Harvard Medical College and was a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Technology and Policy at Boston University. Dr. Kannel was also the Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Services were held at Temple Beth Am, 300 Pleasant St., Framingham, Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 11 AM. Interment was private. Memorial Observance will be at the home of Linda and Ronald Isaacson following interment and continuing Tues. 7-9 PM, Wed. 1-5 PM & 7-9 PM, and Thurs. 1-5 PM & 7-9 PM. Expressions of sympathy in his memory may be made to The Friends of Framingham Heart Study, 73 Mt. Wayte Ave., Suite 2, Framingham, MA 01702.

Stanetsky Memorial Chapels 617-232-9300


  • Funeral Service for William B. Kannel

William Bill B. Kannel MD

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Lindsay Huntoon

October 26, 2011

I am so sorry to hear that Dr. Kannell passed away. I worked for him at BU Medical Center from 1981 through 1984. It was my first job out of college. After struggling with obesity for most of my life, I finally found the strength to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. I was able to tell Dr. Kannell that I finally "got" what he was talking about. My sympathies to Rita and the family.

Pazit Glaz-Cohen

August 30, 2011

We send our love and condolence to Rita
and all the family.Dr Bill was our dad's good friend.

Tali Glaz-Almagor

August 30, 2011

We were so sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Bill Kannel. He was a good friend of our parents. Our love and condolences to Rita and family.

Ron Glaz

August 30, 2011

Condolences to Rita and the rest of the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mitchell Drucker

August 24, 2011

So sorry to hear of Dr Kannell's passing. My condolences to Rita and the rest of his family. I had the pleasure of working with him at the Framingham Heart Study in the 1970's.

Val Chikwendu

August 24, 2011

I am sorry to hear Doctor Kannell died. One thing is certain: 'he was good till the end ...' My condolences to the family. He will be missed.

Ikram Farooqi

August 22, 2011

Condolences to the family for their loss.

Christine Tavares

August 22, 2011

Dear Pat,
I am sorry to hear about your Dad...hope you are doing thoughts are with you...
Christine Symonds Tavares

Sylvia Levy

August 22, 2011

So sorry to learn of Dr. Kannel's passing. This is a huge loss not only to the family but also to the scientific world.
Our deep condolences.

Sam & Sylvia Levy

Scott Gauthier

August 22, 2011

My condolence to the family during this period of grieving.