"Simon Cowell is an entrepreneur and performer in equal measure. He has built an international empire and in so doing has changed the face of television around the world," said International Academy President Bruce Paisner.
Over the last decade, Cowell seemingly has held just about as many jobs as Idol host Ryan Seacrest, from being a judge on Idol, to producing Britain's X Factor and America's Got Talent as well as its British version. Cowell next will bring X Factor to America after he leaves Idol at the close of this season.
"I'm delighted, said Cowell, who will receive the award at a Nov. 22 gala in New York. "I've been very lucky to be able to make shows that I love."