The Tony Award-winning writer won the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, which is handed out every two years to "honour and encourage artistic excellence".
And Hwang is delighted with the prize, as it means he can continue to pen plays without fearing the financial implications of his low-paid art.
He tells the New York Times, "This award literally buys me time to focus mostly on my theatre work. Even if you're lucky to have a play on Broadway like Chinglish, you don't necessarily earn enough off it to support the years it takes to get there."
Hwang won a Tony Award in 1988 for his play M. Butterfly, and his most recent work - a comedy called Chinglish - was performed on Broadway last year (11).