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Stuart W. Stein graduated with a Bachelor in Architecture in 1952 and a Master in City Planning in 1954 from Massachusettes Institute of Technology. He served as the principle planner for the Rhode Island Development Council from 1954-1957. In 1957, he became a partner in Blair and Stein Associates, a planning consulting firm in Providence, R.I., Washington, D.C., and Syracuse, N.Y., where he worked until 1962. He taught in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University from 1962- ; served as acting Chairman of the Department between 1969-1970; was Chairman of the Department from 1971-1975; and also served as the Associate Dean of the College of Architecture, Art & Planning at Cornell University from 1970-1971.

Also, Stuart W. Stein was involved in public service, including membership in the New York State Board of Historic Preservation, the Committee on National Register Nominations, and the Review Panel for the New York State Council on the Arts, Architecture and Environmental Arts Division. He served on a number of Tompkins County, New York boards, including a term as Chairman of the Ithaca Planning and Development Board, member of the county Transportation Board, member of the Ithaca City Council, and member of the Ithaca Board of Public Works. In addition, he worked professionally as an urban planning consulting and visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Rhode Island. He was involved in a number of professional organizations, including the American Institute of Planners (AIP), Interamerican Planning Society, and the American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO).