Schornack was born in Essen, located in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, on 29 February 1912. As a child, he was passionate about cars, and would go on to become a mechanic for Opel and Ford.
Schornack was self-employed as a car dealer for many years, owning his own dealership. After World War II, he ran a kiosk selling tobacco products on Frohnhauser Platz with his brother.
Schornack drove until he was 95. He still lived in his apartment until the age of 104, albeit with a live-in carer. After his carer died, he moved into a nursing home. In 2016, he claimed his secret to longevity was, “Enjoy everything in moderation, have a positive attitude, do a lot of good things in life and cultivate friendships and acquaintances.”
Schornack became the oldest living man in Germany following the death of Heinrich Homann on 24 June 2020. He received the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, and later recovered from a mild case of the virus, making him one of its oldest survivors. On 15 July 2022, he became Europe’s oldest man after the death of Frenchman André Boite. Around two months later, he surpassed the age of Mary Norris and became the oldest person ever born on 29 February.
Schornack died on 22 February 2023 at the age of 110 years, 358 days. He was the third-oldest man to die in Germany after Gustav Gerneth and Hermann Dörnemann. Upon his death, the oldest living man in Europe and Germany became André Ludwig (110) and Karlheinz Stauber (108) respectively.