Net Worth: $1.96 billion, up 5.4 percent
LAST YEAR: $1.86 billion
RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Hardware retailing
THE MONEY: Chairman and chief executive of Harbor Freight Tools USA, privately owned hardware retailer. Company co-founded by Smidt’s parents in 1968; now operates 570 stores nationwide. He bought their stake in 1999 and moved business to Calabasas from North Hollywood.
THE BUZZ: Known for lavish donations. Longtime benefactor of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Also serves on board of Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Donated $350,000 last year to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s fund for city’s 2024 Olympics bid. In 2012, funded independent nonprofit charter school Alliance Susan and Eric Smidt Technology High School in Lincoln Heights, which serves Asian American and Latino students. Bought the Knoll in Beverly Hills from country singer Kenny Rogers in 2005 for $46 million – former mansion of late billionaire Marvin Davis.
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