Eric and Susan Smidt

Eric and Susan Smidt

The owner of Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc. and his foundation gave $50 million to Cedars-Sinai to advance cardiovascular research and innovation.

The gift from Eric and Susan Smidt and The Smidt Foundation, which was announced Feb. 14, marks the largest ever for the 116-year-old Beverly Grove-based health care system.

The funds will be used to launch the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, officials say, enabling the hospital to expand its treatment of heart conditions through scientific research, clinical studies and training new generations of heart specialists.

“The Smidt Heart Institute will propel us forward in leading the quest for innovation with the goal of devising better treatments for heart disease, one of the world’s greatest health needs,” said Thomas M. Priselac, chief executive of Cedars-Sinai, in a statement.

Eric Smidt, who is 22nd on the Business Journal’s 2017 list of Wealthiest Angelenos, co-founded Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc. of Calabasas. Harbor Freight tied for sixth in an October 2017 Business Journal list of the largest companies in Los Angeles County, based on $4 billion in revenue earned in 2016. Eric and Susan Smidt, who live in Beverly Hills, said they were deeply moved to support their family’s local medical center, while funding Cedars-Sinai’s world-renowned heart research.

“It’s important to support outstanding local institutions, and we want to help amplify Cedars-Sina’s impact on human health and wellbeing here and far beyond Los Angeles, Eric Smidt said in a statement.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.