John Schoenherr was an American illustrator who was born in New York City. He was a graduate of Stuyvesant High School. He studied art at The Art Students League of New York with Will Barnet and at Pratt Institute.
Much of the considerable attention he received was based on his work as a science fiction illustrator. He is also very well known as a wildlife artist, children's book illustrator and scratchboard artist. Most of his illustration work uses this technique, and he was long known as the only commercial artist who specialized in it.
Among the books he illustrated are The Wolfling and Rascal by Sterling North, the latter of which received a Newbery Honor and The Illustrated Dune by Frank Herbert.
This last grew out of his work for Analog magazine, especially under John W. Campbell, Jr. and Ben Bova. He illustrated the original magazine serializations of Dune for them, as well as the covers for Anne McCaffrey's Weyr Search and Dragonrider, which were later revised into the novel Dragonflight.
He won a Caldecott Medal for Owl Moon by Jane Yolen in 1988.
His knowledge of zoology was very useful in creating alien creatures, and he also worked for paperback and hardcover SF publishers like Ace Books and Doubleday.
He was an emeritus member of the American Society of Mammologists.
Schoenherr had been a resident of Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.