The prize is to be given annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival to a recipient "whose work has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic films alive and thriving for generations to come," Turner Classic Movies said in a news release.
The award is named for Osborne, who served as the primetime host and anchor of TCM for more than 22 years. He died in 2017 at the age of 84.
"I am truly honored to be the first recipient of the Robert Osborne Award," the Oscar-winning filmmaker said in a statement.
"I started The Film Foundation 28 years ago in order to preserve and share cinema's history with audiences of the present and the future. Bob and TCM have always been trusted allies in this mission. I always loved watching Bob's introductions and interviews on TCM because you could immediately feel that this was someone who knew movie history, who wanted to share that knowledge and pass it on, and -- most importantly -- who truly loved movies. Bob was a true believer in the cinema, so to receive this award in his name means a great deal to me."
"In addition to his status as perhaps the definitive filmmaker of his generation, Martin Scorsese possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of film history," added Ben Mankiewicz, TCM's current primetime host.
"And he has turned that passion for movies into a commitment for preservation, working tirelessly to restore and preserve the world's cinematic heritage. Both Martin and Robert have helped ensure that classic film will continue to be experienced as it was meant to be seen, for years to come."
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"Robert was the cornerstone of TCM and his contributions were fundamental in shaping the network into what it is today," remarked Jennifer Dorian, TCM's general manager.
"Through the creation of the Robert Osborne Award we acknowledge how much he meant to TCM and the impact he had on preserving the love of classic film."
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