Harve (Herve) Stein was born Harvey C. Stein on April 23, 1904 in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Frank Stein, was born 1866 in Germany. He immigrated to America in 1885 and settled in Chicago, where he worked as a machinist in a tool shop. His mother, Emma Stein, was born 1871 in Illinois of German ancestry. His parents met in Chicago and married in 1893. They had three children. He was the youngest. His older brother Edward was born in 1894 and his older brother Frank was born in 1897. They lived at 3306 Herndon Street.
He did not serve in the Great War, at which time he was a Chicago high school student.
In 1923 he graduate high school, after which he studied at at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 1927 he married Hope Stein, who was also born in 1904 in Chicago. They moved to New York City, where they lived at 229 East 79th Street, in Manhattan's Yorkville district, where the residents were predominantly German.
In 1927 he illustrated stories in Scribner's Magazine and the Sunday Magazine of The New York Herald Tribune.
He studied with Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central School of Art. The classes were conducted under a tall skylighted ceiling on the top floor of the actual train terminal on 42nd Street and Park Avenue.
In 1931 he illustrated fiction stories for several nationwide magazines, such as The Delineator, Woman's World, The American Girl, The Farmer's Wife, and Liberty.
In 1933 he illustrated Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Little Men for Garden City Publications. In a public lecture at the time he is quoted as saying, "Illustration is as much a fine art as any other form of painting. In fact, illustrating requires much more knowledge of specific types and settings than other kinds of art. Moreover, it requires a literary sense for the illustrator can make the story more vivid and appealing to the reader. Illustrating is very difficult to do, because you have a limited time in which to select your models, brush up your expertise on the historical period and complete your painting. An illustrator's knowledge of historical periods must be very accurate. Furthermore he must have a grasp of settings, types, subjects, costumes, and architecture at his finger tips. One of the most difficult challenges facing an illustrator is when he is required to draw a picture of a girl whom the author only describes as 'the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.' What was the author's idea of the most beautiful girl, and what is the reader's idea of the most beautiful girl? That is for the illustrator to decide. The success of the whole story may depend upon the artist's conception of the most beautiful girl!"
During the 1930s he drew pen and ink story illustrations for pulp magazines, such as Blue Book, Double Action Stories, and Love Book.
He did not serve in the military during WWII. During the war years he drew pen and ink story illustrations for the pulp magazine Argosy.
In 1944 he was the Founding Chairman of the Commercial Illustration Department at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.
In 1946 he moved to 59 High Street in Groton, Connecticut.
In 1947 he became a painting teacher at the New London Art Students League, in Connecticut.
In the fall of 1951 he was a visiting lecturer in the Art Department at Connecticut College.
Harve Stein died in Stonington, CT, at the age of ninety-two on November 30, 1996.