The AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute to honor a single individual for his or her lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television.
The inaugural award ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Subsequent ceremonies would be held there every year, except for the Century Plaza Hotel in 1975, until the ceremony moved to the Kodak Theatre (now Dolby Theatre) in 2002. The ceremony has remained at the Dolby Theatre aside from a four year stint at Sony Pictures Studios, 2009-2012. The 48th annual ceremony in celebration of Julie Andrews was postponed from mid-2020 to November 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, then rescheduled again to June 2022.