Launy Fredrick Rhem Jr., affectionately known as “Sonny,” was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 11, 1957, to the late Launy Fredrick Rhem Sr. and Marine “June” McCloud-Rhem. Sonny went home to our Lord and savior on April 22, 2024. Sonny passed away surrounded by the support of loved ones, leaving behind a legacy of innovation, warmth, unwavering support, and a fierce love for family.

After graduating from Hirsch High School, Sonny attended Kennedy-King college and later DePaul University where he went on to study Marketing Communications and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. After graduating from DePaul University, he spent several years at XEROX Corporation and later started his company Urban Entertainment Marketing (UEM) in 1990. Sonny was a remarkable individual whose passion and expertise in media and branding left an indelible mark on the entertainment and marketing industries. 

Born with a charismatic spirit, a visionary mind, and the gift of “gab”, Sonny dedicated his career to mastering the art of marketing and brand extension. He was renowned for his ability to seamlessly integrate brands with Hollywood’s glittering world, serving as a crucial liaison between major brands and the entertainment industry. His efforts helped numerous companies enhance their market presence through strategic partnerships and high-profile endorsements.

Sonny’s career was driven by his belief in the power of relationships. He developed and nurtured connections with over 100 advertising agencies, magazines, and several major motion picture studios. His work with Urban Entertainment Marketing, was particularly impactful, focusing on promoting models and actresses not typically found in traditional agencies. These professionals often described him as a mentor who not only guided their careers with a keen eye for potential but also cared deeply about their personal growth and well-being.

Beyond his professional achievements, Sonny was a lover of life’s finer aspects—art, music, and culture. His contributions extended beyond his company and into the community, where he was a steadfast supporter of arts and youth programs. He had an immense love for his alma mater DePaul University and worked tirelessly to support the university and develop ways to enhance their basketball program and overall image. He believed in giving back, and his philanthropic efforts were aimed at empowering the next generation of creators and thinkers.

Sonny’s legacy is not just in the brands he helped build or the careers he fostered, but also in the hearts of those he touched with his infectious enthusiasm, genuine kindness and “tough love”. He is survived by his loving family, countless friends, and colleagues who will miss his vibrant personality and his unyielding support.

As we say goodbye to Sonny, we celebrate a life well-lived—a life that was filled with passion, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the world. He will be remembered as a visionary leader, a caring mentor, and, most importantly, a beloved brother, uncle, and friend. Sonny’s spirit will forever inspire those who had the privilege to know him, and his impact will continue to be felt for many years to come. We love you Biggest Bro!!

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