The announcement Tuesday from the top union representing Hollywood filmmakers says Ebert is receiving the honor at the guild's Jan. 31 awards dinner.
"From the blockbuster to the tiny independent film, Roger Ebert has devoted his career to sharing his love of film with generations of moviegoers," says guild President Michael Apted. "In doing so, he's kept directors on their toes for more than 40 years."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the Chicago Sun-Times has been host of TV's "At the Movies" with Chicago colleagues Gene Siskel and later Richard Roeper.
The 66-year-old Ebert has battled cancer and undergone surgery that has left him unable to speak but continues to write film reviews.