Former ambassador to the United Nations Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, who has been collecting more than her share of fat honorariums and awards since leaving the Reagan administration, is now about to become the first recipient of a $100,000 award. It was established by the Raymond and Miriam Klein Foundation to honor individuals whose "public activity has demonstrated personal commitment to the purposeful survival of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and who, through such activity, have influenced the general public to a positive awareness of these concerns." Kirkpatrick was an unwavering defender of Israel while serving in the United Nations.

She will receive the award March 25 in Philadelphia. Klein, a retired businessman, decided last summer to set up his own foundation to promote Jewish life and established the award to honor prominent individuals involved in fostering Jewish values and life. Klein was not available to comment on the award, and Kirkpatrick, through a spokesman, said she was too busy and on too tight a schedule to comment on her latest honor. King Birthday Celebration

The word has been a bit slow getting around and the invitations began arriving only this week for the super, three-city gala television fundraiser for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. The big evening, put together by superstar Stevie Wonder, will include an amazing array of talent Jan. 20 at television tapings at the Kennedy Center and in New York City and Atlanta. The Washington evening will include a black-tie dinner at the National Building Museum, where the partygoers will be able to watch highlights of the entertainers performing in the three cities over a two-hour NBC television broadcast.

Those performing here include Diana Ross, Debbie Allen, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bob Dylan, Amy Grant, Gregory Hines, Quincy Jones, Eddie Murphy, Peter, Paul and Mary, Michael Peters and the Pointer Sisters, as well as Wonder. Elizabeth Taylor, who is again having back problems, has said she will be here if she's well enough. End Notes

Newsweek magazine is boasting of a major editorial coup in yesterday's appointment of Steve Smith, an acting assistant managing editor at Time magazine, who now takes over the number three slot at Newsweek. Smith, 36, has been at Time since 1978, where he edited 50 cover stories and was once national editor. His new title is executive editor . . .

Marty Kaplan, former chief speech writer for Walter Mondale who moved from the land of make-believe on the Potomac to the land of movie make-believe, has been promoted to vice president, motion picture productions, for Walt Disney in Burbank, Calif. . . .

Richard M. Nixon, the only president to resign from public office, is 73 today . . .

Actor Gordon MacRae, whose powerful voice rang out in such movie musicals as "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel," has been in Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., for the past three weeks, where his wife Elizabeth said he is suffering from cancer of the mouth and jaw and "is fighting hard." MacRae, who has lived in Lincoln for the past three years, has received get-well calls from former president Gerald Ford and Betty Ford, editor Norman Cousins and entertainers Frank Sinatra, Robert Goulet, Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy . . .

Norris Church Mailer, the wife of author Norman Mailer, will have her first Washington exhibit at the Wallace Wentworth Gallery near Dupont Circle from Jan. 21 through Feb. 8. Mailer will exhibit about a dozen oil paintings and some drawings that are based on photos of families on vacation or at special events during the 1950s. Some of the New York literary and art crowd is expected at the opening . . .

Several months ago, author and screen writer Dan ("Semi-Tough") Jenkins was approached by Cathy Lee Crosby. She wanted to know if he would be interested in writing a script for a pro football movie that she and the then more active Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann would coproduce. Jenkins said he was busy on other projects, including a sequel to "Beverly Hills Cop," which he has just completed, so he said no thanks. But just think of the movie possibilities . . . golden boy meets golden girl, breaks leg and limps off into the sunset . . .