COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Nance, a former Associated Press reporter and photographer who covered the Vietnam War and later oversaw the news cooperative's operations in the Philippines, has died. He was 74.

Nance died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Columbus, according to Schoedinger funeral home, which is handling the arrangements.

He was named the AP's bureau chief in the Philippines in 1968. While there, he began writing about the Tasaday tribe discovered in the rain forest in 1971.

Nance wrote three books about the cave-dwelling tribe and created a foundation that brought them health care and taught them about agriculture. He also took thousands of photographs of the tribe.

"John Nance represented a generation of great AP reporters who covered the war in Vietnam and then went on to chronicle the incredible story of the Stone Age people in the Philippines," said John Daniszewski, AP senior managing editor for international news. "He's remembered as a gentleman and a wonderful raconteur, and he will be missed very much."

During his reporting on the Tasaday, he befriended aviator Charles Lindbergh, who had helped preserve the tribe's home. He might have been the only reporter to develop a friendship with Lindbergh, said Richard Pyle, AP's former Saigon bureau chief.

Nance graduated from the University of Oregon and worked for three years in Portland.

He left the AP briefly and then rejoined in 1965 to cover the Vietnam War. He spent two years there as a photographer and reporter.

He became bureau chief in the Philippines in 1968 and left the company in 1978. Afterward, he continued to write about the Philippines and the Tasaday tribe.

Nance moved to Ohio in the late 1990s and worked as a writer in residence at the Thurber House, a nonprofit literary center and muesum that was the home of New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber.

Nance is survived by his wife, Sally Crane, two children and three stepchildren. (AP)