Born in Germany, Raimond Gaita came to Australia with his parents at the age of four, and was brought up largely by his father, near Barninghup, Victoria. He attended the University of Melbourne, gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree and a Master of Arts degree, before undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at the University of Leeds (UK). He was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College London and Foundation Professor of Philosophy at Australian Catholic University, spending six months of the year at each institution.
His biography of his father, Romulus My Father, was awarded the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non Fiction – the Nettie Palmer Award – in 1989, was nominated by London's New Statesman as one of the best books of 1999 and has been republished in several languages. A Common Humanity was nominated by the Economist as one of the best books of 2000.