Bruce, who will leave his job as Wigan manager after two years at the club, has signed a three-year contract with the Black Cats.
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn said on Sunderland’s official website: “Steve will bring a professionalism and strength of character to this club that will really help to bring us forward to where we all want to be.
“He knows more than anyone what football means to people of this region and I’m confident that he will be able to instil into our players exactly what it means to play for this football club.”
A statement on Wigan’s official website read: “A compensation fee has been agreed between the two clubs, freeing Bruce to move to the Stadium of Light.
“The deal also includes assistant manager, Eric Black.”