Stein received a BS in 1962 from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and earned an MBA from Columbia University, New York, in 1968.
He has been an instructor of photography at the International Center of Photography in New York City since 1976.Stein works "within the documentary tradition, concentrating on producing extended photographic essays." His images are mostly close-up portraits that reveal the friendliness and warmth of this city's inhabitants, the vibrant and bustling vitality of the area, and the changing nature of the neighborhood. With a population of nearly half a million people, Harlem is America's most celebrated African-American neighborhood. Its rich past and historical importance have made a unique contribution to our national popular culture. Steins photographs capture and celebrate the Harlem spirit.
A member of SPE since 1978, Stein is also a member of the American Society of Picture Professionals.