Eric Smidt is an American billionaire businessman and the president of Harbor Freight Tools. He founded the home improvement retailer with his father in 1977. The company has more than 1200 stores in 48 states.
|Net Worth:||$5.1 BILLION|
|Source of Wealth:||HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS|
|Yacht:||INFINITY & INTREPID|
Smidt is the president and owner of Harbor Freight Tools. The company is a tool and equipment retails and has headquarters in California, with over 20000 employees in the USA.
The original idea for the company was to send tools straight from the factory to customers, effectively cutting out the “middle man.”
The company began as a mail-order business that sold tools out of a tiny warehouse in North Hollywood. In 1985, he became the president of the company at the age of 25 and the sole owner in 1999.
Today, Harbor Freight Tool does more than $2 billion in annual retail, offering high-quality tools at low prices. Smidt was a teenager when he began the company with his father, Allan Smidt, in 1977, and he earned enough credits through his job at the company to graduate high school.
Allan took his son to court in 2010, suing him for “looting” the company and leveraging it to finance a lavish lifestyle. The case was eventually settled out of court.
Eric Smidt’s NET WORTH
Smidt has a net worth of $4 billion. He has a private jet, Gulfstream G650 (N650HF).
He is also the superyacht INFINITY owner and the support vessel INTREPID.
In 1960, Smidt was born in Los Angeles, California. His mother suffered from multiple sclerosis, which his father struggled to contend with. His overwhelmed father, Allan, sent him to an orphanage at age nine.
He lived with his aunt for four years and returned to his parents two years later. He moved into his own apartment at the age of 16 and started his home improvement company with his father. He is married to his wife, Susan Smidt.
Smidt is also a philanthropist and is the founder of The Smidt Foundation. The organization encompasses assets worth $200 million, but the signature program is Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. The program supports skilled trade education in US public schools.
The program was conceptualized in January 2013 when Smidt had Harbor Freight Tools donate $1.4 million in tools and equipment to aid education in the Los Angeles Unified School Districts Career Technical Education program.
Smidt had learned that the program’s budget had been slashed to a quarter of what it was two years earlier. In August of that year, he expanded the Tools for Schools program by gifting $100,000 in tools and equipment to vocational schools in and around Dillon County, South Carolina. The program continues to make contributions.
Smidt continues to make charitable contributions, including directing Harbor Freight to donate its entire supply of N95 masks, face shields, and gloves to hospitals with a 24-hour emergency room.
Smidt is a prominent Democrat in Los Angeles. He has hosted fundraiser dinners for both Bill and Hillary Clinton. He is a friend of Antonio Villaraigosa, the former Mayor of Los Angeles. He donated money to help pay the mayor’s ethics fines.