The owner of Harbor Freight Tools has donated $50 million to Cedars-Sinai to create an institute for research and innovative practices in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery.

The gift from Eric and Susan Smidt and the Smidt Foundation for the Smidt Heart Institute is the largest in the 116-year history of the Los Angeles health provider.

Eric Smidt is chief executive of Harbor Freight Tools, the Calabasas-based retailer of hand tools, generators, air and power tools, shop equipment and automotive tools.

Smidt said it was important to support local health care institutions and to help spread the word about Cedar-Sinai’s impact on human health and well being in Los Angeles and beyond.

“Cedars-Sinai cardiologists are pioneers in this field, and the heart institute is one of the world leaders when it comes to modern heart medicine—and it's in our own backyard,” Smidt said in a prepared statement.