The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night to give Coppola the award and announced the decision Wednesday.
Honorary awards are also to be bestowed upon historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Eli Wallach.
All four prizes are to be presented at the Academy's 2nd annual Governors Awards dinner Nov. 13 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.
"Each of these honorees has touched movie audiences worldwide and influenced the motion picture industry through their work," Academy President Tom Sherak said in a statement. "It will be an honor to celebrate their extraordinary achievements and contributions at the Governors Awards."