Winfrey is one of five honorees revealed to the public Tuesday morning.
The others are former Beatles member Paul McCartney, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, country music singer-songwriter Merle Haggard and composer and lyricist Jerry Herman.
The Kennedy Center Honors recognize performing artists for their contributions to American culture. Winners are selected by the Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees.
In addition to her award-winning TV show, Winfrey earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her work in the movie adaptation of Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple."