A question from Yahoo! Answers:
Does anyone know what Copermicus did for aliving?
Does anyone know about his job? or what he did for a living?? or if he had anychildren?
A convoluted story, that…
Copernicus didn’t have to work for a living. His father, a wealthy merchant, died when he was young, so he, his brother, and two sisters were reared by their maternal uncle, Lucas Watzenrode, who was a church canon (secular priest) and later became Prince-Bishop (governor) of Warmia (a region in northeastern Poland). His uncle paid for his studies in Cracow, Bologna and Padua, where he trained as a canonic lawyer and a physician.
In 1497, after Lucas Watzenrode was ordained Bishop of Warmia, Copernicus himself was named a canon at Frauenburg (Frombork) Cathedral (which basically was a job with no duties, since he received his nomination while residing in Italy and stayed there for another three years after that, working as an assistant to the famous astronomer Domenico Maria Novara da Ferrara).
For at least six years (1506-12), Copernicus practiced medicine. In 1516-20, he worked as administrator of the diocesan castle of Allenstein. For seven years (1522-29), he worked for the Prussian government as a deputy chancellor in charge of financial regulations. It is known that he extensively traveled as a diplomat on behalf of the Prince-Bishop of Warmia.
In 1537 King Sigismund of Poland put his name on the list of four candidates for the vacant episcopal seat of Warmia, which makes many believe that later in his life, Copernicus had entered the priesthood (although no proof of it exists today).