Frank Schoonover was born in New Jersey, USA, in 1877. He studied at the Drexel Institute with Maxfield Parrish under Howard Pyle (1896-1900). Pyle was impressed with Schoonover and got him work illustrating the books A Jersey Boy of the Revolution (1899) and In the Hands of the Red Coats (1899).
Schoonover developed a reputation for illustrating adventure stories. This included In The Open, The Edge of the Wilderness, The Deliverance and Breaking Trail for Scribner's Magazine. He was also a regular contributor to Harper's Weekly and McClure's Magazine.
Other books illustrated by Schoonover include A Princess of Mars (1917), Cortes the Conqueror (1917) Arctic Stowaways (1917), Tales of Shakespeare (1918), Joan of Arc (1918), Kidnapped (1921), Robin Hood (1921), Robinson Crusoe (1921), Treasure Island (1922), King Arthur and His Knights (1923), Ivanhoe (1925), Questers of the Desert (1925) and Boy Captives of Old Deerfield (1929).
In 1931 Schoonover established the School of Illustration in Indianapolis but after 1937 concentrated on easel painting. He also started another art school in Wilmington in 1942 that he ran until suffering a stroke in 1968.
Frank Schoonover died in 1972.