Murray's run to become the first British man to win at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 was enough to see him secure the 2013 award ahead of Leigh Halfpenny in the public vote, with jockey AP McCoy in third.
The award brings to an end a success-laden year for Murray - a year in which Prime Minister David Cameron backed Murray to earn a knighthood after his 6-4 7-5 6-4 win over Novak Djokovic at SW19 in July.
"I've got a few people to thank - my family first. A lot are there in the crowd. They've supported me since I was a kid, making a lot of sacrifices for me. I couldn't have done it without you," Murray said.
The ceremony, this year celebrating its 60th year, saw a host of other awards handed out.
Anne Williams, who fought for justice for her 15-year old son, Kevin, who died at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, was posthumously awarded the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.
Amber Hill won Young Sports Personality of the Year; while Joe And Maggie Forber took the Unsung Hero Award for promoting basketball in Manchester.
The British and Irish Lions picked up the Team of the Year award; while their coach Warren Gatland picked up the Coach of the Year award.
Sebastian Vettel was awarded Overseas Personality having secured a fourth consecutive F1 world championship in October.
Sir Alex Ferguson was handed the penultimate award of the night, the Diamond Award for his achievements in football - having won 13 league titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions Leagues with Manchester United.