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Date of Birth: 1473.
Born in the city of Toru, Royal Prussia (which was actually a part of Poland and should not be confused with Ducal Prussia, Teutonic Prussia or the much later West Prussia), Niccolò Copernico, a.k.a. Nicolaus Copernicus, was the youngest of four siblings. Although he seemed to be destined for the Church, his brother was a priest and his sister a nun after all, Niccolò bucked the family trend...to partake in a humanist education to become a priest. Okay, so at first he wasn't much of a rebel, instead enjoying the privileges granted by his upper class upbringing, he studied Aristotle, Ptolemy and others at the University of Kraków.
By the time he graduated, he spoke four languages, and, while waiting to be appointed to his canonry in Warmia (a rebellious duchy within Poland) he journeyed to Italy to study law. However, rather than focusing on his canonical studies, he attended humanities lectures and began speaking about science and astronomy, notably leading a series of public lectures in Rome. Pope Alexander VI did not take kindly to him and he left the city abruptly in 1501. But Copernico had discovered his passion.
He was so enamoured with his studies, that he applies for a two year extension of his time abroad to learn medicine in Padua. While there, he also became fluent in Greek, and read many ancient texts.
After graduating, he left Italy for good, finally arriving in Warmia to take on his duties. Working as the secretary to his uncle, the Bishop of Warmia, he found time to develop his astronomical theories on the side. He quickly wrote a rough version of his heliocentric theory and than spent his off-hours for the next 30 years recording astral movement from an unknown tower using primitive instruments modelled on far more ancient ones.
Although Copernico has been immortalized for his writings placing the Sun at the centre of the universe, his theories were not published until just before his death in 1543. Some even believe he died as the first copy of his book was placed into his hands.