Stokes was born in New York, the son of James Boulter Stokes and Caroline (Phelps) Stokes. As a young man he joined the firm of Phelps, Dodge & Co., a mercantile firm founded by his grandfather. He soon became a partner of that firm and also of Phelps, James & Co., of Liverpool. Thereafter, he organized realty companies in New York which built and maintained office buildings, and served as a corporation director. An art collector, he was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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New-York Historical Society
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