Grawitz was born in Charlottenburg, in the western part of Berlin, Germany. As Reichsarzt SS and Polizei (Reichsphysician SS and Police), Grawitz was also head of the German Red Cross. His wife, Ilse, was the daughter of SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SSSiegfried Taubert. He funded Nazi attempts to "eradicate the perverted world of the homosexual" and research into attempts to "cure" homosexuality. This involved experimentation on inmates in Nazi concentration camps. He was also in charge of authorizing medical experiments on inmates and others in concentration camps and was the adviser on which gasses to use to kill inmates.
As the Soviets approached, a grenade exploded in Grawitz's house in Babelsberg, killing him, his wife and his children. It has been assumed that the grenade was activated by Grawitz himself. The event was depicted in the 2004 film Der Untergang ("Downfall"), in which Grawitz was portrayed by Christian Hoening.