A stunning 76th-minute winner from Sone Aluko handed the Tigers an unlikely 3-2 victory after they had twice trailed to the Magpies.
The win was particularly sweet for Geordie Bruce, who on his last visit to St James' Park as Sunderland manager in October 2010 left on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline.
He said: "That was certainly the darkest Sunday afternoon I have had in football. It was the worst result I could probably ever think of.
"It's taken a long time to come back, but we have come back and dusted ourselves down, and it's always nice to win here.
"As you know, I'm a Geordie and it's always nice to come back, especially if we can get a result."
Hull were behind with just 11 minutes gone when Loic Remy, making his first home start for Newcastle in front of owner Mike Ashley and director of football Joe Kinnear, headed home from close range.
But the lead lasted just 15 minutes as the Magpies' fragility at the back returned to haunt them and Robbie Brady levelled from Aluko's through-ball.
Remy restored the home side's advantage a minute before the break after goalkeeper Allan McGregor could only parry Yohan Cabaye's shot, but a criminally unmarked Ahmed Elmohamady headed home Brady's 48th-minute free-kick to drag the visitors back into it.
However, it was Aluko who claimed the headlines when he spectacularly volleyed home substitute George Boyd's cross, although Remy might have completed a hat-trick and snatched a point at the death, only to prod wide from close range.