Albee will receive the honor Nov. 3 during the Chicago Humanities Festival, which will run Nov. 1-10. The Chicago Tribune will also recognize the winners of this year's Heartland Prizes: "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for fiction and "The Third Coast" by Thomas Dyja for nonfiction.
The recent Broadway revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Albee's most famous work, won three Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Direction of a Play for Pam MacKinnon and Best Actor in a Play for Tracy Letts.
Albee, who acts as a mentor to many young playwrights, established the Edward F. Albee Foundation in 1967 as a way "to serve writers and visual artists from all walks of life, by providing time and space in which to work without disturbance," according to the organization's website.
The Chicago Tribune began awarding the Literary Prize in 2002 as a way to recognize a writer's distinguished career and its impact on American culture. Previous dramatists who have won the Literary Prize include Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, August Wilson and Sam Shepard.