Ron Williams, 63, a veteran Associated Press technology manager who began his career with AP as a teenager in the Atlanta bureau, died Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Mr. Williams rose to become the technology manager for seven states. Colleagues remembered the Georgia native as a mentor to scores of technicians throughout the company over the years. They said he used a keen sense of humor and never-ending optimism to bring calm during stressful times at work.

Mr. Williams was born in the northwest Georgia town of Rome on May, 13, 1950. He worked for the AP in summer 1968 as a temporary office assistant in Atlanta. He spent the next 45 years with the AP, most of it in Atlanta. - AP