Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has also worked in radio and television, is known for his ability to interview people and tell their stories.
His books include "Working," in which Americans talk about their jobs; "Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession"; and "Coming of Age," recollections of men and women 70 and older.
"Certainly he has expressed his great pleasure in receiving the award," said Sharon Rab, chairwoman for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. "We are quite hopeful that if he is in good health that he will be here to receive the award."
Terkel, 94, will receive a lifetime achievement award Nov. 5. The group Dayton: A Peace Process also will award two writers in the categories of fiction and nonfiction. Each award is worth $10,000.
The Dayton Peace Prize commemorates the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which were negotiated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Previous winners include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.