William J. Hammer, 71, formerly of Lower Gwynedd, a cardiologist, medical staff leader, and educator, died Sunday, Nov. 15, of heart failure on Kiawah Island, S.C., where he had lived since 2013.

Dr. Hammer was a practicing cardiologist and chairman of the department of medicine at Chestnut Hill Hospital for more than 25 years.

Born and reared in Germantown, he was the only child of Anna and William Hammer. He was a 1961 graduate of Northeast Catholic High School and a 1965 graduate of La Salle College.

Dr. Hammer received his medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine in 1969 and served as chief resident in internal medicine in 1972 and 1973 at Temple University Hospital.

He went on to complete a fellowship in clinical cardiology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

In 1975, Dr. Hammer joined the faculty of Temple University Hospital as an assistant professor of medicine.

In 1981, he became part of the medical staff of Chestnut Hill Hospital. In 1986, Dr. Hammer was named chairman of the department of medicine, a role he held through the end of 2012, when he retired.

During his tenure at Chestnut Hill Hospital, Dr. Hammer was active on many executive-level committees.

"He was an outstanding educator and instructor to many medical students and residents who rotated through Chestnut Hill Hospital," his family said.

Widely published on cardiovascular disease, he also lectured across the region on the topic.

During his career, Dr. Hammer maintained a faculty appointment at Temple University Hospital. He had staff appointments at Jefferson Medical College and the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hammer was a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

He was a member in good standing of the Philadelphia Academy of Cardiology, the Philadelphia County Medical Society, and the American Heart Association.

In 1992 and 1993, he served as president of the Philadelphia Academy of Cardiology.

Dr. Hammer was a member of the Chestnut Hill Cardiology group practice based in Flourtown, where he was loved by the many patients he cared for over the years, his family said.

"He had a very good sense of humor and was sort of a walking trivia encyclopedia about movies," said his wife, Marian E. Hammer. "He was a loving father and husband."

A golfing enthusiast, Dr. Hammer was a longtime member of North Hills Country Club. He also loved dogs.

Besides his wife of 48 years, he is survived by two sons, Ethan and Shaun. Services were Saturday, Nov. 21.

Donations may be made to Inn Dwelling, Attn: Brother Al Smith, Director, 109 E. Price St., Philadelphia 19144.

610-313-8102