The star of such films as "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Pretty Woman" is set to be honored Feb. 16 during a ceremony at Rochester's George Eastman House, the restored home of the founder of photography pioneer Eastman Kodak Co.
Gere has appeared in more than 40 movies. In 1991, he founded the Gere Foundation, an organization that gives grants for public health, education and emergency relief in Tibet. He has also long been prominent in the fight against HIV-AIDS.
Past recipients of the George Eastman Award include Lauren Bacall, Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.