Bernard Schoenbaum was born in New York City and was raised in Manhattan and the Bronx. He attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx. He received his training in art at the Parsons School for Design
Much of Mr. Schoenbaum's career was spent as a freelance commercial artist, although he had long wanted to be in a cartoonist. After his wife took a job as a librarian, Mr. Schoenbaum devoted more of his time to cartooning. From 1979 to 2002 he began contributing cartoons to The New Yorker. Mr. Schoenbaum's cartoons lampooned the rich, the socially conscious, and the upper classes in general. He could be topical, but more often than not he simply pointed out the ugly truths in society and the follies of being human. Mr. Schoenbaum also contributed work to Barrons and The Wall Street Journal.
Bernard Schoenbaum also worked creating portraits on cruise ships.
Over the years The New Yorker has featured some of the greatest cartoonist of all time: Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, William Steig, and James Thurber among them. Bernard Schoenbaum ranks in their number, not simply because he was published in The New Yorker, but because he had the same incredible level of talent. He was among the funniest and wittiest cartoonists to ever grace The New Yorker, with a sharp eye for basic human nature and a sense of humour that was often sardonic. With Bernard Schoenbaum's passing, we have lost one of the true greats of cartooning.